Considering the potential for affordability checks imposed on UK gamblers, many are voicing their discontent and considering alternative options. These options include changing their gambling provider, opting for unlicensed operators, or ceasing gambling activities entirely. The information comes as the UK Government is expected to release its White Paper on gambling reform due to the ongoing review of the Gambling Act of 2005. Nevertheless, the official stance on mandatory checks and their threshold remains unconfirmed until the completion of the white paper. A recent study conducted by YouGov on behalf of the UK’s Online Betting Guide (OLBG) took place between February 23rd and March 2nd, 2023 and involved 1,007 British gamblers.
Mandatory Affordability Checks
Currently, in the UK, there are no mandatory affordability checks for gambling operators, but the potential introduction of such checks and recent hefty fines imposed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) have led some online gambling companies to establish their own affordability thresholds. However, the study discovered that most participants were against sharing sensitive financial information with operators during these checks. OLBG’s findings revealed nearly 60% of participants had not been asked to provide financial documents for affordability checks but would refuse to do so if required. Delving deeper into these statistics, 29.2% of participants indicated they would cease gambling activities if asked for such information. In comparison, a mere 0.8% confirmed they had stopped betting after being asked for financial evidence.
Fear of Migration to Unlincensed Sites
In contrast, 27.4% of participants said they would switch to another licensed gambling provider if asked for financial documentation, with only 3.9% having done so after refusing to provide the requested information. Alarmingly, 3.2% of respondents would choose to gamble with an unlicensed operator if asked for financial proof, and 0.9% have already made this switch after being asked for such evidence. Only 16.2% of survey respondents complied with requests for financial documents from gambling operators, while 18.5% stated they would provide the information if asked, even though they had not yet been approached for it.