Betting and Gaming Council CEO Michael Dugher has congratulated The Jockey Club for injecting a “much-needed dose of common sense” into the financial risk checks debate.
The comments come after the UK government revealed this week that it is set to debate the white paper’s proposed so-called “affordability checks” on February 26.
A petition to stop the implementation of financial risk checks started by Jockey Club CEO Nevin Truesdale in November reached 100,000 signatures, forcing a date to be set for a parliamentary debate by the Petitions Committee.
Dugher said UK government ministers “promised” that checks would be “frictionless” and said they must now “honour that commitment.”
He called for a “proper pilot” of financial risk checks before any “permanent changes” are introduced.
Dugher added: “The overwhelming majority bet perfectly safely and responsibly and it is crucial no check is introduced which risks driving these punters to the unsafe, unregulated black market online. These sites have none of the standards or protections offered by BGC members and they make no contribution either to the Exchequer or sports like horse racing.
“The Jockey Club are to be congratulated for helping to secure this important parliamentary debate. Nevin Truesdale and his team have injected a much-needed dose of common sense.
“Too often, the debate around gambling has been dominated by a handful of out-of-touch anti-gambling prohibitionists whose enthusiasm for draconian changes would wreck great British sports like racing.”
The Gambling Commission and the UK government have repeatedly insisted that the impact of financial risk checks will be minimal, with gambling minister Stuart Andrew claiming that 80 per cent of gamblers will not be affected by the lowest level of checks.
The Gambling Commission, meanwhile, has said that only three per cent of the highest spenders will be impacted by more intrusive checks.