The British Horseracing Authority’s managing director Julie Harrington says the proposals are not appropriate.
UK.- Julie Harrington, managing director of the British Horseracing Authority, has criticised the proposals for affordability checks in the UK. Speaking at a BHA-hosted reception at the Houses of Parliament, Harrington said the BHA has received messages from racing fans who are worried about the Gambling Commission’s proposals, which are currently the subject of a consultation.
Addressing parliamentarians, government officials and racing industry professionals, Harrington argued that the government should consider alternative options. She said the BHA would be willing to contribute ideas.
She said: “No one in British racing wants to see someone come to financial harm as a result of betting on horseracing and we have been taking steps to look at what more we can do as a sport to encourage socially responsible betting.
“However, we have been clear throughout that a blanket approach to affordability is not appropriate. This is especially true in a sport like racing which has a broad appeal across different socio-economic demographics.
“British racing is working with relevant stakeholders to formulate a response to the Gambling Commission’s consultation. We look forward to further discussions with the DCMS and the Gambling Commission about how the impact on racing fans, and the industry as a whole, can be decreased.
“Our industry has so much to offer wider society and to support the agendas of government. We are a unique soft power asset, with a huge constituency footprint and a broad fanbase that cuts across different parts of policy. We are also an industry of untapped potential and, with the right support from government, will continue to thrive in the coming years.”
The Gambling Commission’s CEO Andrew Rhodes has said that its proposals on affordability checks, or financial risk checks were currently the “most challenging” part of the regulator’s work.
Giving evidence to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into gambling regulation, he said the issue has dominated the responses that the regulator has received in its consultations following the publication of the UK government’s gambling white paper.
The proposal is for operators to be required to conduct detailed financial risk checks in cases of high losses. One proposed benchmark is a monthly net loss threshold of £125 or yearly net loss of £500. A higher limit suggested is £1,000 in losses in one day or £2,000 in 90 days.