BGC: “Snobbish” affordability checks could hurt the sector

Affordability checks have yet again been brought under the spotlight by the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

The trade association has warned that tougher restrictions might push more people towards the black market, citing recent data from YouGov where 79% of respondents say they “would likely” cross over to the dark side. 

Moreover, 70% of the total surveyed have stated that they will not hesitate to change a bookmaker if they’re asked to provide ‘private financial documents’ in order to place a bet. 

As pointed out by the BGC, the survey comes at a pivotal time for UK betting as the sector prepares for the Cheltenham Festival and the Gambling Act review White Paper. 

Michael Dugher, BGC CEO, said: “This research is the latest in a series outlining the genuine concerns of millions of ordinary punters who feel that the people making decisions about the future of betting are out of touch and have never had a bet in their lives.

“We want to see genuinely non-intrusive checks, which use technology to carefully target and protect the tiny minority of vulnerable punters, but intrusive, blanket, low level so-called ‘affordability’ checks will be universally rejected by punters.

“Any intrusive and blanket approach risks having the opposite effect by pushing them into the unsafe, unregulated black market which offers no safer gambling tools like time outs and deposit limits, doesn’t support the economy or sport and doesn’t pay a penny in tax.

“Ministers should listen to the millions of punters enjoying Cheltenham rather than pander to a naive and snobbish minority of anti-gambling prohibitionists.”