July 29, 2010

Abandoned betting accounts may be used to fund UK sports

The UK government is to compile a report into how much money is left abandoned in betting accounts, with a view to the proceeds being used to improve public sports facilities and clubs.

The review stems from a pledge in the Coalition Agreement to look into the best use of abandoned betting accounts. Work will be done to determine how a betting account can be classed as 'dormant', and to clarify legal ramifications surrounding the potential uses of the money.

John Penrose, UK minister for Tourism and Heritage, who has asked MP Don Foster to compile the report, said. “Every day thousands of people bet on the outcome of sporting events. Therefore it seems a natural fit that funds from abandoned betting accounts should be used to benefit grassroots sports projects.”

Foster added: “I’ll be meeting representatives from all parts of the industry to gain views and suggestions on how this can work. It would be great to see some local sporting facilities and initiatives getting some extra funding in these difficult financial times.”

Foster will present his findings, along with a possible proposal of new legislation, by the end of the year, with a formal consultation process to follow.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the UK government department tasked with oversight for the UK gambling industry, said customers would still be able to reclaim their money at any time, as long as they were able to prove their right to it.

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