Gambling Commission erupt like a dormant dinosaur to deny any wrongdoing in affordability nightmare – it's a disgrace | The Sun

SO why has the up-until-now silent Gambling Commission suddenly erupted like a dormant dinosaur?

Over the last couple of years the Gambling Commission has been blamed for causing chaos in the world of horseracing.

Now it denies any part of the destruction many believe it should be held totally responsible.

It's all very odd.

As most of you are aware, bookmakers have been demanding intrusive, unnecessary, self-destructing, harmful and for many totally out-of-order affordability checks on punters wanting to have a bet on horseracing.

Most believe this is a result of the Gambling Commission second-guessing a white paper that we have been waiting for from the Government for what seems an eternity.

When I was lucky enough to be involved with the Racing Debate show on Sky Sports Racing we begged the Gambling Commission to come and talk to us on numerous occasions.

No one ever did. It was like dealing with the BHA.

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Then, suddenly, the Gambling Commission was happy to tell racing's trade newspaper at the weekend – via chief executive Andrew Rhodes – that it was not to blame for 'war crimes against horseracing'.

Not only that, yesterday Rhodes was back for more on television.

On both occasions, Rhodes claimed the Gambling Commission had never asked bookmakers to go ahead with the affordability checks that they insist have to take place.

Estimates believe that the situation has meant horseracing has lost in the region of £40million over the last year.

It makes one wonder whether it's possible the Gambling Commission now know roughly what is in the white paper. It feels like they are backtracking, and fast.

In some ways this would make sense, because not so long ago outgoing gambling minister Paul Scully suggested it was not up to Government or the Gambling Commission to tell people how much they can afford to bet.

It's impossible to know who to believe in all of this.

But one thing we know for a fact is that getting on for about 95 per cent – if not more – of the 22 million people who gamble in this country do so with no issue at all.

And while, of course, we want to do everything we can to help the 5 per cent or less, no one seems to be thinking about the 95 per cent at all!

It's hard to think of anything in life where out of 100 per cent, 5 per cent have the opportunity to ruin an industry and way of being for 95 per cent.

That, though, appears to be the current situation.

Incidentally I did ask major bookmakers why they are insisting on the affordability checks if the Gambling Commission is telling the truth.

The general comeback was: "Our legal team are no comment on this."

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In a nutshell, the current situation is pretty much the worst regulation direction ever, driven by high profile online casino gambling addiction cases that are now impacting regular, low stakes, recreational horse race bettors.

It's an utter disgrace.


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Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare –
  • Gamble Aware –

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