UKGC addresses Racing Post’s criticism of financial risk checks

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has taken a stand against the Racing Post’s criticism of proposed financial risk checks, publishing an open letter from its Chief Executive, Andrew Rhodes, to address what it deems “imbalanced stories.” The Racing Post had declined to publish the Commission’s response, prompting this move.

The UKGC emphasises that only 3% of gamblers would face financial risk assessments, with just 0.3% of account holders asked to provide additional financial information. This means that 99.7% of customers would not need to submit such details. These assessments would mainly rely on credit reference agencies and open-source banking, ensuring gambling companies do not access full bank account data.

Furthermore, these checks exclusively apply to online bookmakers, not affecting traditional bookmakers or racetrack betting. The Commission clarified that soft credit checks won’t impact credit scores, and gambling behaviour data won’t be shared with the financial sector.

The tension between the UKGC and Racing Post stems from the ongoing debate surrounding financial risk checks, a prominent aspect of the Gambling Act review. Racing Post’s editor, Tom Kerr, expressed reluctance to publish the UKGC’s letter, arguing it did not address the newspaper’s concerns.

Despite the disagreement, the Commission remains committed to its proposal for “frictionless financial risk assessments” and light-touch checks for a fraction of gambling accounts. As the debate unfolds, the coming weeks will reveal the direction these risk checks take and their impact on the gambling community.

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