The UK is going to update some of its gambling laws this year. The outcome has professional gambler Neil Channing concerned about the future of horse racing in the country.
In the weeks ahead, the gambling review’s results, which took over a year to complete, should be released. Industry insiders remain cautious over what may be presented. However, reports suggest that UK legislators could adopt stricter affordability controls as part of their measures to address a rise in problem gambling figures.
Should the new controls be introduced by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Britain’s horseracing sector will be severely affected financially, according to Channing. He discussed the potential negative consequences of the ongoing government gambling review on the horse racing sector while participating in an episode of Luck On Sunday on Racing TV.
UK Horse Racing Could Take a Step Backwards
On Sunday’s Racing TV channel, the professional gambler expressed concerns about the changes. He worries about the possible negative effects that the review could have on horse racing’s financial health and the overall effect that the government’s gambling review will have on the sector’s near-term and long-term prospects.
Channing claims that the implementation of the affordability checks would wipe out over half of those who gamble on horse races. This would result in a shrinkage of the horse racing industry to the point that there would be no more races available.
He also noted that it was possible that the results from the gambling review may not be added to the laws for more than two years. This is primarily due to the amount of time needed to introduce the changes.
Channing added that any legislative implementation process is lengthy. The proposals have to be put into a specific format before they can be submitted to Parliament for approval.
Gamblers Not a Fan of Betting Limits
Racing TV conducted a survey last year of approximately 2,000 subscribers to the channel. The results showed that 93% of the respondents believe they should be able to set their own betting limits.
A separate Racing TV survey conducted last year found similar results. It showed that 86% of respondents thought tighter affordability checks could lead customers to illegal betting sites. These aren’t licensed and don’t pay taxes to the government.
As a result, the UK will lose an important revenue source. It could also lose the ability to provide responsible gambling solutions and treatment.
A consultation by the UKGC suggested that customers could see a £100 (roughly US$135) limit in monthly online gambling losses. The only way to avoid the limit would be to show that they can afford to lose more. For most, it would simply be easier to use offshore accounts.
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