Michael Dugher, Chief Executive Officer of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has issued a statement in response to the government’s commitment to financial risk checks, a contentious topic under discussion since last year. The government has pledged that these checks will be addressed in a Parliamentary debate scheduled for February 26, 2024.

Dugher, who is transitioning to the role of Chairman at BGC, emphasized the importance of honoring the commitment to ensure frictionless financial checks, a promise made to Parliament. He stated, “At the BGC we supported enhanced checks for online gambling, but have been clear throughout that checks should be carefully targeted on those showing signs of problem gambling, or those who are at risk of harm, so operators can use technology to take swift action.”

The parliamentary debate was triggered by a petition on the government’s website that garnered over 100,000 signatures. Dugher highlighted the need for checks to remain frictionless for the majority of users, emphasizing that intrusive checks could dissuade responsible punters. He said, “The overwhelming majority bet perfectly safely and responsibly, and it is crucial no check is introduced which risks driving these punters to the unsafe, unregulated black market online.”

Addressing concerns about the black market, Dugher emphasized, “These sites have none of the standards or protections offered by BGC members and they make no contribution either to the Exchequer or sports like horseracing.”

The initial consultations on financial checks took place in August, facing resistance from various industry figures. Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the Gambling Commission, later clarified the details of the checks, including parameters such as £1,000 ($1,264) in 24 hours or £2,000 in 90 days, triggering a full financial risk assessment.

This development unfolds against the backdrop of changes at the BGC, with the recent announcement of Brigid Simmonds’ departure from the organization marking the end of an era.

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