UK gambling minister Stuart Andrew has reiterated his desire for financial risk checks to not “unduly disrupt” and “damage” the industry.

Stuart Andrew gambling minister UK

Speaking at the Betting and Gaming Council’s AGM,  he insisted that the checks will provide “clear and proportionate rules” and will not be “burdening customers” with information requests.

The white paper proposals came under fire on Monday in a formal parliamentary debate, triggered by a petition to abolish their implementation which reached 100,000 signatures.

Representatives from the UK’s horseracing industry, including MPs whose constituencies include key racecourses, criticised the plans, which are set to be piloted by the Gambling Commission.

However, they also received support from some, including Labour MP Carolyn Harris, the chair of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group.

Andrew told delegates at the BGC AGM: “I have been clear that these checks should be genuinely frictionless - one of my first discussions with officials on taking on the gambling brief was around how we would deliver this - and the white paper was clear that they will not be implemented until we can guarantee that they are.”

The white paper’s proposals are for light-touch checks to take place if a customer posts a net loss of £125 in a rolling 30-day period, or £500 in a rolling 12-month period.

The Gambling Commission has confirmed that a four-to-six-month pilot of the checks with a range of operators.

“We are therefore grateful for the input of BGC members into this pilot to ensure it is a meaningful test of the policy,” Andrew said.

“The Commission will consider all issues that arise during the pilot stage - and are clear that this will help refine the final requirements and the models for data-sharing.

“I, and the Government, are supportive of the evidence-led and consumer-centred approach being proposed during this pilot.”

“But until these checks are fully in place, it is essential that the industry is more transparent with its customers,” Andrew added.

Andrew said that around half of the proposals in the white paper have now been consulted on, revealing that the government will publish its consultation responses on land-based gaming measures and the statutory levy “in the coming months.”

The government will “lay secondary legislation to bring measures into force across all relevant areas as soon as parliamentary time allows,” Andrew said, insisting that he is looking to bring key measures into force “by the summer of this year.”