British Horseracing Authority responds to affordability checks debate

BHA calls on the UK government to protect and support British horseracing when reviewing gambling legislation
The post British Horseracing Authority responds to affordability checks debate first appeared on EGR Intel.  

British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chief executive Julie Harrington has spoken out about Monday’s (26 February) parliamentary debate over the impact affordability checks could potentially have on the British horseracing industry.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Harrington acknowledged the importance of the debate but called for the government to show its support for British racing when reviewing gambling legislation and do everything possible to protect the industry going forward.

The debate was triggered by a petition which was tabled by UK racing stakeholders and was registered by Jockey Club CEO Nevin Truesdale calling for the proposals to be scrapped.

This attracted the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for debate by MPs.

MPs were implored to abandon plans to implement compulsory affordability checks set out in the government’s white paper and endorsed by the UK Gambling Commission (GC).

The proposed checks will trigger when a player suffers a net loss of £125 within a 30-day period or £500 over one year, or accounts that experience losses greater than £1,000 in 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days.

In the debate, leaders from across British racing voiced their concerns, arguing the checks could potentially cost the industry up to £50m a year, leading to significant job losses.

Some operators have already introduced their own checks which has resulted in a deficit of £1bn in online betting turnover since 2021.

Harrington’s statement went on to praise the high turnout the Westminster Hall debate and added that many of the MPs had made valuable contributions.

The former FA group operations director also said the BHA had been encouraged by Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew ruling out the use of job titles and postcodes in the deployment of the checks and confirming that any changes will be subject to the initial pilot.

Harrington noted: “We will continue to make the case into the heart of government that the impact of these checks both on our industry and racing bettors needs to be carefully considered, and the BHA look forward to further discussions on this important issue for British racing with the Gambling Commission and DCMS.

“From MPs of all parties and all sides of the debate, there was a clear recognition of the need for the government to protect and support British racing when reviewing gambling legislation.

“If our sport is to remain a healthy industry, supporting jobs in the rural economy and remaining competitive with our international rivals, we hope government will heed this advice,” the statement concluded.

The post British Horseracing Authority responds to affordability checks debate first appeared on EGR Intel.


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