Betting and Gaming Council Endorses Racing TV’s Campaign to Engage MPs and DCMS Ministers

The Betting and Gaming Council’s Chairman, Brigid Simmonds OBE, has given her endorsement to a new campaign from Racing TV that empowers horseracing enthusiasts to reach out to their MPs and DCMS Ministers to address concerns about potential gambling regulations. The campaign provides a platform for individuals across the UK to share their views and ensure that any future changes to the industry do not affect their enjoyment of horseracing and have no unintended negative economic impact on the sport.

The campaign seeks to counter measures proposed by anti-gambling prohibitionists, which include broad, invasive, and low-level “affordability” checks. Racing TV members recently participated in a survey that revealed that 15% of the 3,500 respondents bet with unregulated online bookmakers or know someone who does. Additionally, almost 80% of respondents do not wish to see bookmakers impose mandatory limits on their spending.

However, affordability checks could increase the likelihood of people turning to the black market, with 92% of respondents stating that they would consider switching to another bookmaker if they were not required to provide personal information. The igaming and sportsbetting industry is a significant contributor to the UK economy, generating £7.1bn in gross value and contributing £4.2bn in taxes annually to the Treasury. The industry also supports 110,000 jobs in high streets, hospitality, and global tech powerhouses, according to a recent report by EY.

BGC Chairman, Brigid Simmonds OBE said: “The recent debate around the White Paper has shown us there is confusion, when there should be clarity.

“No one benefits from this, not our members, nor their millions of customers. We have always called for a package of reforms that will deliver real change, but these need to be carefully targeted to protect the small minority who are vulnerable, not impact on the enjoyment of the vast majority who bet safely and responsibly.

“BGC members are proud to provide financial support to the tune of £350 million to the horseracing industry each year. The White Paper should now be published without delay, to bring certainty for businesses and punters, so that investment can continue.

“Around 22.5m UK adults enjoy a bet each month, and according to the independent regulator, problem gambling rates remain low at 0.3 per cent.

“I would urge anyone who has an interest in racing and in protecting their enjoyment of betting on the sport to sign up to this campaign.”

Racecourse Media Group (parent company of Racing TV) CEO, Martin Stevenson said: “The widespread response to the Racing TV survey shows how much the ongoing Gambling Act Review, combined with their recent experiences, is affecting our members.

“Our survey revealed that 15% of respondents bet, or know someone that bets, with an unregulated bookmaker, which is of real concern. With millions of customers betting on racing, the findings of this survey indicate that hundreds of thousands of punters are potentially using the black market.

“A key priority for the White Paper is needing to listen to consumers and, according to this survey, their widespread rejection of affordability checks. They appear be having the dysfunctional effect of pushing potentially vulnerable punters into the unregulated black market and therefore an unsafe environment.”

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