UK Survey Finds Affordability Checks Will Cause Black Market To Flourish February 15, 2023 Mike Ashley

UK Survey Finds Affordability Checks Will Cause Black Market To Flourish

affordability checksSummary

  • A recent survey by Racing TV found that 80% of UK bettors are against affordability checks
  • The black market will flourish if strict gambling measures are implemented
  • The survey comes ahead of the publication of the Gambling Review White Paper

A significant number of UK bettors may be engaging with black market firms at present, and the planned implementation of strict measures, such as affordability checks, could push more customers towards unlicensed platforms.

This is one of the key findings of a new survey conducted by Racing TV, a subsidiary of the Racecourse Media Group (RMG).

Over 80% of UK Bettors Do Not Support Affordability Checks

The results of the survey were released following the appointment of Lucy Frazer as the new Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). She becomes the fourth official in three years to lead the Gambling Act Review which could set a new requirement for operators to carry out affordability checks on customers who run up huge losses.

The industry argues that such measures are intrusive and are not supported by the majority of UK customers.

That claim is backed by the findings of the recent survey by Racing TV, which shows that over 80% of 3,469 respondents are opposed to the implementation of mandatory spending limits. 22% of 3,575 respondents said they have been asked by an operator to provide personal information as part of affordability checks, and 50% of them refused to do so.

The survey also found that the black market is thriving in the UK, with 15% of 3,539 respondents admitting they bet or know someone who bets with an unlicensed online bookmaker. What’s more worrying is that 92% of 3,237 respondents said they would consider transferring to a different bookmaker that does not require personal information. This means more customers could be forced to bet with unlicensed sites if affordability checks are implemented.

RMG CEO: DCMS Must Consider Survey Results

RMG CEO Martin Stevenson said the survey provides clear evidence that affordability checks could force more UK customers to leave the regulated market and shift to unauthorized sites, exposing them to potential harm. This defeats the purpose of implementing such measures, he added. Stevenson has called on Frazer to consider the results of the survey as the gambling reform debate continues.

Affordability checks may also have a huge impact on the revenue of the horse racing sector, something that has been repeatedly raised by racing and betting stakeholders. Stevenson said the industry could lose as much as £40 million annually should the government proceed with implementing the measure.

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