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Racing Post survey highlights negative impact of affordability checks on bettors

24th February 2023 9:32 am GMT

A survey conducted by the Racing Post has found that more than half of horseracing bettors in the United Kingdom and Ireland have refused to comply with gambling affordability checks.

The survey of 10,400 respondents in the UK and Ireland found that 17 per cent of UK-based respondents and 13 per cent of Ireland-based respondents had been asked to undertake an affordability check by a gambling operator.

It also found that 55 per cent of those players refused to provide financial documents such as bank statements and payslips to operators to support their spending, and of those that did, only 38 per cent were assigned a deposit limit that they were happy with.

“These results offer startling evidence of the degree to which affordability checks are already affecting a wide range of racing bettors and how few are willing to provide the sensitive financial documents requested by bookmakers,” said Tom Kerr, editor of the Racing Post. “Even when some punters do reluctantly engage with the checks, less than one in two is left satisfied by the process.”

The survey also found that 4 per cent of respondents have used an unlicensed bookmaker in the past twelve months, and that 97 per cent of respondents believe that they, rather than the government, are best placed to determine what is affordable to spend on gambling.

“If you extrapolate these results across the wider racing audience, it creates an ominous picture for the sport and the regulated betting market in Britain,” Kerr added. 

“It's clear bettors are increasingly turning to the black market, where onerous affordability checks are as absent as all other forms of player protection. Based on these findings, it's likely that tens of thousands of bettors and hundreds of millions of pounds in betting turnover have already shifted to unregulated and untaxed offshore bookmakers.”

Racing Post The Big Punting Survey
Racing Post The Big Punting Survey
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