Credit checks could soon be part of everyday life for British gambling operators. However, a large proportion of gamblers are against sharing private financial information with operators. This is the result of a survey published on Friday by the British TV channel Racing TV and curated by online casino Yoju Canada.
A total of 2,000 people were asked about their opinion on credit checks by gambling providers. 95 % of them stated that they would disapprove of bookmakers having an insight into their account balance.
At the same time, 74% thought it appropriate to carry out credit checks on people who might be at particular risk of gambling addiction. 88% of respondents also felt that the government should not interfere with their wager amount.
Also, 85 % of the gamblers feared that the measures planned by the government could drive people to the black market. Racing TV describes this survey result as particularly “worrying”. Martin Stevenson, CEO of Racecourse Media Group, summarises:
“The responses from the Racing TV survey have shown how concerned our members are about restrictions on their freedoms in terms of how they spend their leisure time and money. In addition, they do not consider credit checks and wagering, deposit and loss limits, all of which could be considered by the government, to be the right solution”.
In principle, his company favours the government’s plan to provide exceptional protection for vulnerable people from gambling-related harm. However, legislation should be proportionate and evidence-based, Stevenson said.
Gambling Association urges the government to be vigilant
The British gambling association, Betting & Gaming Council (BGC), has also commented on the survey results. But, as the association explains in its latest press statement, the gamblers’ answers are not surprising. The YouGov study published in March, which the association itself commissioned, had produced similar results.
At that time, 59% of the respondents said they would turn to the black market if there were too many restrictions on licensed gambling providers. According to association head Michael Dugher, this should be a strong warning to the government.
“I am alarmed by these results – particularly concerning the high number of respondents who believe that gamblers will simply move to the unsafe, unregulated online black market if blanket wagering controls are introduced – and I hope that ministers will take the views of gamblers seriously”.
He is not against credit checks in principle either. However, these should only be carried out if a substantial risk is identified. Gambling providers nowadays have excellent technologies to identify high-risk players.
Therefore, the right balance has to be found. People at risk should be protected without spoiling the fun for players who gamble responsibly.
Driving gamblers to the black market is undoubtedly the worst-case scenario. This must be prevented at all costs. Dugher, therefore, hopes that the government will make the right decisions in its gambling reform.