Local MP Praises Bath Racecourse In Commons


29 February 2024

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, praised the Bath Racecourse for playing an integral role in the city, amid discussions on changes to gambling regulations.

Mrs Hobhouse hailed the Bath Racecourse for bringing thousands of visitors to the city, fostering a vibrant horse racing scene. Bath is home to Britain’s highest flat racecourse and has a distinguished history of racing which dates back to 1811. The Bath MP said that the venue was incredibly important for the city, hosting over 20 races a season in addition to family days and live music events. 

As Bath Racecourse plays a fundamental role in the community, Wera Hobhouse expressed concerns that racing would be vulnerable to proposed changes to gambling regulations. During the Westminster Hall e-petition debate on Financial Risk Checks for Gambling, many MPs discussed proposed affordability checks for those engaging in gambling. While she joined their calls for better regulations to prevent harm and addiction, the Bath MP emphasised the importance of ensuring that gambling legislation protects the fun of harmless, casual betting.

Mrs Hobhouse warned that affordability checks could become intrusive. Instead, the Liberal Democrats are proposing that the government adopt a public health approach to gambling legislation. The Bath MP said that there should be a soft cap on gambling losses, set at £100 per month. As the majority of gamblers do not lose anywhere near £100 a month, Mrs Hobhouse said that many occasional gamblers would not be affected by this cap and would not have to log their financial data on any database. 

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, commented:

“Bath Racecourse is an incredibly important venue for our city. It has brought in thousands of visitors and is steeped in a rich history that dates back hundreds of years. 

“As racing is enjoyed by so many, often a fun day out for families, it is important that we get gambling legislation right so that we do not exclude anyone from these events.

“Although we need to reform affordability checks to keep people safe while they place the occasional bet, these checks must not be invasive. That way the wonderful Bath Racecourse can continue to thrive, while betters can maintain their dignity.” 

Bath Racecourse

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