The CEO of The Jockey Club’s, Nevin Truesdale, is leading the charge against proposed financial risk checks for online gamblers in the UK through an online petition. The petition, titled “Stop the implementation of betting affordability/financial risk checks”, went live on Wednesday and has already garnered over 43,500 signatures by 5 pm UK time on Friday. If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for a parliamentary debate.
Truesdale emphasized the belief in individual freedom to choose how to spend their money as the driving force behind the petition. The proposed financial risk checks were introduced in the Gambling Act review white paper and were the subject of a public consultation conducted by the Gambling Commission, which received over 2,000 responses.
The issue has sparked controversy, with Gambling Commission chief Andrew Rhodes addressing what he deemed as “misinformation” in the media about the checks. There have been diverging opinions on the topic, with Premier Greyhound Racing chair Lord Lipsey criticizing the proposed checks for their potential effects on greyhound racing, while gambling charity GamCare has expressed support for stricter measures.
Under the current plans, operators would be required to conduct detailed checks on the affordability of players who lose £1,000 in 24 hours. Similarly, consumers who lose £2,000 over 90 days would face the same checks. The plans also include “passive” checks on players with a monthly net loss beyond £125, or £500 per year.
The petition argues that the checks are “inappropriate and discriminatory” and warns that they may drive gamblers to the black market. It also raises concerns about the potential negative impact on British horseracing finances due to a reduction in betting turnover. While acknowledging the need to assist those with gambling problems, the petition argues against introducing more intrusive checks triggered at a higher threshold.
Truesdale’s efforts to resist the proposed financial risk checks reflect the broader opposition to the measures within the gambling industry. The petition seeks to amplify the voices of those against the checks and advocate for alternative approaches to addressing gambling-related issues.