Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes has insisted that UK white paper consultations on financial risk checks have not been designed to attack the horse racing industry.
Speaking at the IAGR conference, he said some stakeholders in the sport have been “very vocal in their opposition to our work to implement government policy,” but stressed that the Gambling Commission is “not ignorant of the challenges the sport faces.”
Rhodes said he wants to “get the balance right between protecting those who need it and not infringing those who do not.”
The consultation on financial risk checks has proved one of the most high profile of the early discussions around new white paper policy for the UK industry.
Rhodes reiterated his message from early September that he has observed “misunderstandings” about the financial risk checks, adding that some of the confusion has arisen from “deliberate misinformation designed to muddy the waters of debate and to torpedo the implementation of government policy.”
Rhodes talks illegal market
Elsewhere in his speech, Rhodes explained the Gambling Commission’s work in tackling the illegal gambling market.
He said the regulator has seen “significant results” in cracking down on illegal sites, with access to four of the top 10 illegal domains restricted via geo blocking.
Between May and July, the UKGC also saw a 46 per cent reduction in traffic to the largest illegal sites coming into the UK market.
“Further to this, we have been able to block 17 sites from Google search results through our work with them and we have worked with Mastercard on removing payment facilities from illegal sites as well,” Rhodes said.
“That’s not to say we aren’t also working closely with other firms and household names in these industries as well and often with similarly strong responses.
“On top of the results we continue to get through the use of our own powers, it’s fair to say we are having substantial successes in this area.”