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Government legislation could threaten the Grand National

The Grand National takes place this weekend and it led me to think about what the race might look like after the government is done with its new legislation.

The Grand National is the nation’s race. Millions of people have a bet on the big race and the overwhelming majority of those people do so safely. They do it for the excitement, bragging rights over family and friends, and yes also to win a bit of money. Do they need the government to tell them exactly how much is appropriate for them to spend? Are they allowed to lump on a horse that they have a hunch might be a 33/1 winner, or will they be restricted to a fiver at most?

The idea that supposedly ‘frictionless’ checks on affordability might be imposed will simply put people off. There can be no doubt about it. Would you want to have a quick bet if you knew it meant submitting a bank statement or having a credit check? I know I wouldn’t.

These disproportionate measures could be the end of horse racing as we know it. Common sense would be for the government to target help towards those who need it, not ruin a fun pastime for the majority of people who gamble responsibly.

About the Author



I'm Tim, a semi-retired businessman from Towcester in Northamptonshire. 

Being part-retired means now I have much more time to do the things enjoy, like watching sports. My main sporting interests lie in horse and greyhound racing, with the odd foray into the world of athletics and snooker too. All these events I'm pleased to say offer punting opportunities. By managing my betting spend within a set monthly budget, I adopt similar disciplines to placing a wager as I do to my business ventures and only ever spend what I can afford.

From purchasing a scratch card in the local shop, placing a bet with a bookmaker at a racecourse, entering a sweepstake in the office, or buying a bingo card at a local social club. All are defined as gambling and for that reason I consider myself a responsible gambler!

I became a member of the Players’ Panel in the hope of bringing attention to the other side of the debate on betting and gaming, the side of responsible gamblers.