Handing over payslips to have a punt? I don’t think so!
In the next few months the government will be deciding the future of betting in the UK as it announces its plans for new laws and regulations.
For those of us who love a bet – and who see it is part of the lifeblood of sport in this country – this is a really important time.
We need to make our voices heard so that the people making the decisions about OUR pastime make them with input from us, not just from anti-gambling campaigners who don’t like it or who’ve never had a bet in their lives.
One of the biggest worries about what the government is going to do is about affordability. They are openly talking about demanding payslips or bank statements from every customer who wants to bet a few hundred quid or even less on the horses or a match.
There are many thousands of people like me for whom this is an intolerable invasion of privacy. Are the anti-gambling MPs expected to show their payslips when they spend hundreds of pounds on an opera ticket or thousands on a foreign holiday? I don’t think so.
At the same time they are looking at restricting gambling advertising and offers, as if gambling is inherently bad and ordinary people can’t get trusted to spend their own money.
Of course we need to protect vulnerable people and especially children from problem gambling and I’m sure there’s more that companies could do, and ways the law needs to change.
But patronising ordinary Britons who have a hobby that some in Westminster don’t happen to like or understand is not the way to go, and MPs who want to see more freedom in this country should be waking up to this in 2022.