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Public Strongly Opposes New Gambling Affordability Checks, Reveals UKGC Survey

In a revealing turn of events, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published data from a 2021 survey courtesy of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. The information obtained showed strong public opposition to affordability checks (AKA financial risk checks), implemented by the UKGC, to begin in 2024. The survey found a significant number of gamblers had shown major resistance to the intrusive nature of affordability measures.

FOI Request

12,000 recipients took part in the survey, which was brought to the public’s attention by Regulus Group and partner Dan Waugh following a second FOI request after the first was declined. Playing down the public discourse, the UKGC claimed that there was “no outstanding public interest,” so the survey’s contents were deemed not in the public’s interest.

However, Dan Waugh questioned the UKGC’s intentions and commented, “It raises doubts…about the extent to which the Gambling Commission is in earnest when it runs these consultations.”

The survey revealed that 42% of participants would refuse to provide additional information to gambling operators. 22.5% would cease gambling with operators who requested the additional information, and 14% said they would comply. Furthermore, the survey revealed that 18% of participants would be uncomfortable disclosing further information, while 48% felt extremely uncomfortable.

Concerns around the practicality of affordability checks were highlighted by the Racing Post in September 2023. Tom Kerr, Editor of the Racing Post, said at the time, “It is vital that the voice of punters is heard in this consultation, and this survey is an important part of ensuring that happens.”

Considering the survey’s findings, the UKGC responded with assurances that all views and responses were “carefully considered” while developing the new financial risk checks.

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