Racing industry launches national survey for racing bettors on affordability checks

22 Sep 2023 BHA Features

Take the survey now – you can make a difference! 

The British Horseracing Authority, Racing TV, At The Races and the Racing Post have today launched a survey for the betting public to share their views on the Gambling Commission’s proposals for affordability checks ahead of the Commission’s deadline for public responses on 18 October 2023.

The collaboration by racing industry leaders is borne out of the sport’s concern that the proposed affordability checks on punters as set out in the Gambling Review White Paper will further drive bettors away from the sport, as highlighted by the significant amount of correspondence received on this issue by the BHA, Racing TV, At The Races and Racing Post, with many punters already subject to betting restrictions by operators.

The aim of the survey is to encourage as many members of the betting public as possible to share their views on the proposals in one place. Responses will be anonymous but will be used to inform British racing’s collective response to the Gambling Commission.

The survey – which will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete – will be live until Monday 9th October. The questions echo those set out in the Gambling Commission’s consultation in a more accessible format and are accompanied by an explanation of what is being proposed.

The survey will provide British racing with clear and quantifiable evidence of racing fans’ opinions on these proposals that can be shared with both the Government and the Gambling Commission this autumn.

Respondents to the survey are also encourage to respond direct to the Gambling Commission’s consultation by 18th October.

The BHA’s Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs Greg Swift said:

“We are delighted to partner with Racecourse Media Group, At The Races and the Racing Post to release this survey. The BHA opposes blanket affordability checks, and we urge the Government and the Gambling Commission to reconsider their proposals. We are also aware of the significant concern among racing fans about current and future affordability checks and are keen to provide them with a clear opportunity to have their views heard within the context of British racing’s consultation response.”

Racecourse Media Group Chief Executive Martin Stevenson said:

“It is vitally important we hear the attitudes of the consumers themselves in response to the affordability checks proposed by the Gambling Commission, and Racing TV is delighted to play its part in promoting such an important survey to our engaged audiences.”

At The Races Chief Executive Matthew Imi said:

We understand the increasing anxiety around affordability checks and their potential effect on betting. By collaborating with the BHA, RMG and the Racing Post, we have created a survey that provides bettors with a platform to express their opinion on their right to bet. It is now more important than ever for the British racing industry to come together and speak with a unified voice.”

Racing Post Editor Tom Kerr said: 

“We’ve had thousands of emails, letters and messages from readers expressing dismay and anger about the Gambling Commission’s proposals for affordability checks and expressing huge concern over what they will mean for their pastime and for racing. It is vital that the voice of punters is heard in this consultation, and this survey is an important part of ensuring that happens.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Gambling Commission is consulting on the financial risk check model outlined in the Government’s gambling White Paper, released in April 2023.

2. The White Paper set out that responsibility for the implementation of the financial risk check model sits with the Gambling Commission, following further consultation. Provisional changes to the Gambling Commission’s social responsibility code for betting operators are included within the consultation document.

3. The consultation document does not commit to a timeframe for implementation of these changes.

4. The racing industry survey asks 26 questions and should take up to 10 minutes for respondents to complete.

5. Respondents to the survey should be over 18 years old.

6. The survey principally focuses on questions which replicate those posed by the Gambling Commission that are most relevant to racing bettors. These questions include those around financial risk checks – how much net loss is appropriate before a financial risk check takes place, what information should be used as a barometer of someone’s affordability and the length of time that should pass before a further financial risk check is conducted.

7. Questions are also posed about black market operators and how financial risk checks may impact an individual’s betting, or how in some cases are already impacting an individual’s betting.

8. The BHA has met with representatives from a number of different horserace betting consumer groups in recent months to discuss the issue of affordability checks. This includes the Horserace Bettors Forum who have also conducted polling to inform their own response to the Gambling Commission’s consultation.

9. The survey will close on Monday 9th October.  Responses will be analysed and included in British racing’s response to the Gambling Commission’s consultation.