The biggest week of the horse racing calendar is well underway. For true fans of the sport, this is horse racing’s Premier League, Masters and Ashes all rolled into one. The Grand National might be the nation’s race, but Cheltenham is the one that…Read more
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.