Betting Industry ‘Wary’ as UKGC Implements Affordability Checks

Michael Black
Michael Black
Betting News
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Betting Industry ‘Wary’ as UKGC Implements Affordability Checks

The betting industry has issued a cagey response to the potential implementation of affordability checks announced by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) this week. 
The UKGC released details about its plans, which include a six-month pilot of frictionless checks which are scheduled to be launched at the end of August. 
Read on as we look at the key points in the UKGC’s plans, before assessing the reaction to the news from key figures in the betting sector. 


  • Checks to be triggered based on monthly betting spend.
  • New measures to be implemented in four stages.
  • BHA chief unconvinced by the proposals.

UKGC Announces August Start Date for Affordability Checks

The UKGC will implement affordability checks from August 2024 – a date which will be the trigger for a four-stage process culminating in February. 
The checks will initially come into force at £500 a month from August 30, before reducing to £150 a month from February 28 next year. 
The commission will conduct a pilot test in conjunction with gambling operators and credit references agencies to examine the impact on bettors. 
This will involve the operators of the most popular UK betting sites to gain an in-depth view of how the affordability checks work in practice. 

CEO Insists UKGC is Taking an Evidence-Based Approach

UKGC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Rhodes has insisted that the new rules are evidence-based and take into account the views of bettors and other industry stakeholders. 
Rhodes says the checks will deliver ‘meaningful protections’ to people vulnerable to gambling-related harm without compromising consumer freedom. 
However, British Horseracing Authority CEO Julie Harrington says the new system ‘does not yet secure a more sustainable future for racing's finances’. 
Harrington said she is also eager to ‘understand more about the detail of the implementation of these checks to ensure they effectively target those who exhibit markers of harm’.

Bettors Representative ‘Wary’ About the Impact on Racing

The chairman of the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF) says he is encouraged the UKGC appears to be listening to punters about affordability checks, but is worried about their impact on racing. 
Sean Trivass expressed concern about the sharing of personal financial information and called for further evidence that the data will not be shared with third-parties by operators of betting apps
"We remain wary of continued knock-on effects of any affordability checks to the entire racing industry,” Trivass said.

“We note the addition of the term 'soft-touch' to what was originally described as 'frictionless'. We will now read all the details in depth and discuss, after which we may redefine our opinions."