20/11/2023. Horse Racing World: speech by Sir Mark Prescott // Racing Post Top Stories


By Sir Mark Prescott


Our civil liberties are being attacked constantly – most importantly, freedom of speech and the presumption of innocence.


The government is currently consulting on a new policy that would result in the limiting of our freedom to have a bet through the introduction of formalised affordability checks. It threatens not only our personal freedom but also British horseracing’s finances.


Betting is an integral part of the sport. For some owners, taking on the bookmakers is inextricably linked to why they own horses. For countless other people, their love of racing is inseparable from the pleasure punting brings them.


I can see no good reason why the state should be allowed to take that pleasure away from any of us. I also believe affordability checks may well have the disastrous effect of triggering a surge in illegal betting. That really would place the vulnerable people in danger – and these are the very people whom the government purport to wish to protect.

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