With the rumours circulating once again of a near release of the ever talked about gambling review, Gambling Minister, Paul Scully, stated that ‘affordability checks’ was not the correct term of the measures.
Attempting to fan the flames of concern around affordability checks as he claims the DCMS recognises the efforts made by the UK betting sector to address player protection concerns.
Whilst addressing the Betting and Gaming Council AGM yesterday, the Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy stated that he would not disclose the full outcomes of the review.
Scully noted: “That word suggests that the government or Gambling Commission are going to set rules on how much people can afford to gamble.
“A one size fits all approach is not the intention here. It may be more accurate to call them financial risk checks – checking that a higher than usual level of spend is not itself an indicator of harm.”
The government’s and Commission’s main area of concern, he continued, is cases of ‘particularly vulnerable losses’ who can be harmed even by small losses, such as those who have been declared bankrupt.
As such, the new ‘finance risk checks’ would examine whether or not a person is financially stable enough to gamble, without being overly intrusive into the backgrounds of a wider range of consumers.
Scully also reiterated that the white paper will not be ‘the final word’ on UK gambling reform, with continuing consultations with the DCMS and Gambling Commission due.
The industry must “‘”stay engaged”, he emphasised, as policies are “‘”refined, finalised and implemented”’” following the legislative overhaul.
As mentioned above, affordability checks have been a major area of concern for operators – as well as some horse racing stakeholders – over the past two years.
The BGC itself has often cited the measures as having the potential to drive customers towards black market operators by being overly intrusive.
Scully’s speech to the trade association attempted to dispel these concerns. Instead, the Minister argued, the Gambling Act review represents an opportunity for policymakers and stakeholders to “‘”build this country’s status as a world leader in gambling policy”.