Insights from Lord Lipsey, chair of Premier Greyhound Racing and Labour Party peer, on the UK’s proposed Gambling affordability checks
Lord Lipsey, chair of Premier Greyhound Racing and Labour Party peer explores the potential consequences of proposed affordability checks on the greyhound racing industry
In a recent Gambling.Re exclusive correspondence with Lord Lipsey, chair of Premier Greyhound Racing and Labour Party peer, we delved into the issues that affordability checks may pose on the world of greyhound racing. Lord Lipsey has raised significant doubts about the proposed affordability checks, noting that they could have profound consequences for the greyhound racing industry.
Lord Lipsey pointed out that the betting industry has indeed been good to greyhound racing. Most bookmakers, actively contribute to the British Greyhound Racing Fund, a collaborative endeavour between the sports and bookmaking sectors. These financial contributions primarily serve the purpose of promoting the welfare of greyhounds.
One critical issue raised by Lord Lipsey is that this commendable cooperation faces an impending challenge, represented by the Gambling Commission’s stringent affordability tests. While government ministers have provided assurances of their unobtrusive nature, it is crucial to acknowledge their limited authority over the Commission. Should these checks come into effect, the cherished privacy of punters could be at stake. Among those most vulnerable to these changes are the high-stakes punters, who might opt to discontinue their betting activities.
The Chair of Premier Greyhound Racing emphasizes the connection between these impending changes and the world of greyhound racing. This connection is rooted in the precarious financial balance of the British Greyhound Racing Fund, which is already strained due to diminishing returns from their voluntary levy.
Now, the Fund faces an additional challenge, brought about by the anticipated impact of affordability checks on bookmakers. This may seriously impede the Fund’s ability to secure additional financial support. Given that the Fund relies on voluntary levies, the future with affordability checks in place is indeed a challenging time for them.
In a parallel narrative, the domain of horseracing faces a similar predicament. The levy board governing horseracing, which enforces a mandatory levy, allocates a substantial portion of its resources to prizes. While a potential reduction in these allocations would undoubtedly burden horse owners, in contrast to the world of greyhound racing, the absence of an increase in the levy in the latter case would primarily impact the sphere of welfare.