Mark Griffiths has been interviewed by affiliate OLBG on his thoughts regarding affordability – and he believes affordability checks would just drive players offshore.
Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University and is also the Director of the International Gaming Research Unit.
In the interview with OLBG, Griffiths said: “In principle, affordability checks are a good idea, but financial limits that apply to everyone may not be.”
“Over the last 20 years the problem gambling rate has been fairly stable at around 0.5%, with the latest figure 0.3%. The vast majority of people who engage in gambling activities have no problem at all”
The affordability checks stated in the Gambling White Paper instigates that the first of these checks will be triggered by a bettor having a £125 ($158) net loss within a month or £500 net loss within a year, with the strictest checks kicking in at a £1,000 net loss within 24 hours, or a £2,000 net loss within 90 days.
In April, OLBG released the results of its first annual UK Gambling Habits Survey, using data obtained from a survey carried out by YouGov in February.
The survey of 1,007 bettors found that 22% of bettors had already been asked to undergo affordability checks and 65% of bettors said they were not willing to take part in such checks.
Griffiths believes that instead of focusing on the amount of money people are spending, the focus should be on how much somebody can afford to gamble. However, these checks could force bettors to retreat and want to bet offshore, due to not wanting to share that information.
He said: “The more fine-grained we get about affordability checks, for example, if the Gambling Commission says it wants companies to dig into people’s personal finances, there’s going to come a point where most people won’t want to divulge that kind of information.
“What they will then do is go and bet with less reputable companies, ones that are not operating within the confines of the regulatory system here in the UK but are instead located offshore with little or no responsibility measures whatsoever. This would just displace the problem.”
Griffiths continued: “Over the last 20 years the problem gambling rate has been fairly stable at around 0.5%, with the latest figure 0.3%. The vast majority of people who engage in gambling activities have no problem at all.”
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