HRI Assures Government: Racing Channel Audience Not at Risk of Problem Gambling, Urges Tweaks to New Gambling Bill

HRI Assures Government: Racing Channel Audience Not at Risk of Problem Gambling, Urges Tweaks to New Gambling Bill

HRI chief executive Suzanne Eade has stated that the government now needs to take action on proposed amendments to a clause in the gambling legislation. The amendments specifically address the demographic that watches subscription racing channels. Eade mentioned that they had a productive meeting in September and made progress on the racecourse element. They received reassurances and are now awaiting the inclusion of these reassurances in the legislation. The proposed amendments to Section 141 relate to advertising and its potential impact on broadcasting. The intention is to ensure that the legislation aligns with data from the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) which indicates that the demographic in question is least at risk of problem gambling.
It has been confirmed that the legislation is being treated as a priority by the current government. The CEO for the new Gambling Regulatory Authority has been appointed for over a year, and an implementation team is also in place. Eade explains that the legislation is likely to be introduced gradually rather than implemented immediately. However, the process is expected to be finalized in a timely manner due to a general election scheduled for later this year or early 2025. Eade acknowledges the extensive work that has gone into the bill and expects it to go through the report stage. The minister has assured that it won’t be an abrupt change, allowing time for stakeholders to adapt to the final version of the legislation. While no specific timeline has been provided, it is believed that introducing the legislation aligns with the current government’s plan but there are still several details to be worked through.
In October of last year, the ESRI conducted a study that showed three-quarters of adults spend money on gambling each month, with lotteries and scratch cards being the most common forms of gambling. Many have questioned why the lottery is exempt from the proposed gambling legislation, especially considering that advertisements for the lottery are often aired in the morning and midday. The National Lottery Act 2013 provides the framework for the operation of the lottery. Eade expresses her confusion as to why there would be significantly different rules for these two forms of gambling. Additionally, it is mentioned that Chris Cook, the reigning Racing Writer of the Year, offers insights and tips on racing from Monday to Friday to Members’ Club Ultimate subscribers.

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