MILLIONS will be bet on Cheltenham this week but the sport’s very future is at stake in Westminster.
Thousands of fans will enjoy the four days at the مهرجان and millions more will head to the bookies or place a bet online from their armchairs.
حتى الآن, behind the scenes, the political race is on as bookies fight for the right for punters to enjoy a flutter on the nags.
ال Government want to bring in controversial affordability checks that, in their view, will help tackle problem gamblers.
They believe all types of betting are the same, so are considering blanket changes which would hit racing punters hard.
That means legislation is being proposed which could mean anyone wanting to have a bet will have to cough up bank details and payslips before being allowed to do so. A cash limit is also being mooted.
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Industry research predicts these checks would suck between £60 million and £100m out of racing overnight — and that would inevitably risk jobs.
Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting And Gaming Council, قالت: “Like everyone else, I can’t wait for the Festival. It will be a fantastic week and good luck to the punters.
“However the future of the sport is being debated miles away from فاجأ Snapper بعد التقاطه صورة أسمن روبن في بريطانيا in Westminster.
“The Government is gearing up to deliver the biggest shake up of betting in a generation.
الأكثر قراءة في الرياضة
انضم إلى صن فيجاس: احصل على مكافأة مجانية بقيمة 10 جنيهات إسترلينية مع 100s من الألعاب للعب ولا يلزم إيداع (ت&تطبق Cs)
“The BGC represents bookies and punters. We support changes that mean higher standards in betting and tackling the tiny minority of problem gamblers, plus protecting the vulnerable and those at risk.
“But we strongly believe affordability checks would be a disaster for racing and for punters.
“How can it be right a bunch of bureaucrats can dictate how you are allowed to spend the money you’ve earned and paid tax on?"
One study has found 95 per cent of punters would refuse to share bank details in order to place a bet.
Dugher said: “Problem gamblers make up 0.3 per cent of punters so that means new rules would hit the other 99.7 per cent of people who want to have a bet. How can that be fair?"
RacingTV, who will show every race at the Festival, have launched a campaign asking punters to email their MP demanding any changes to betting would not infringe on civil liberties or harm the racing industry.
For more information go to racingtv.eaction.org.uk/GamblingReview