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FeatureAffordability: Your Stories

'I sent my tax calculation, savings account and valuation of stocks and shares - and it did me no good whatsoever'

Lewis Porteous talks to Nigel Thomas about the impact of affordability checks

In this series, we speak to Post readers and racing fans about the impact affordability checks are having. Here, Lewis Porteous talks to owner Nigel Thomas

A long-standing owner says he fears for the future of both horseracing and greyhound racing having found his first experience of bookmaker affordability checks to be "anything but easy and non-confrontational".

Nigel Thomas, who owns a 40 per cent share in a successful glass manufacturing business which employs 135 people in Hull, has been a racehorse owner with trainer John Quinn since the 1990s and previously trained greyhounds alongside his wife.

However, as he faces challenges to his favourite pastime of gambling, Thomas says the incentive to be an owner in either sport is beginning to fade.

"Without a doubt it will impact my involvement as an owner," he said of affordability checks. "The attraction has always been the betting and I'm not going to apologise for something I enjoy doing. It's been a big part of my life but I hardly go to the dogs anymore.

"We had 50 greyhounds when we had our own kennel and they were good times, but they're long gone. It's so pedantic. I've sent so much evidence that shows I don't need any help. I can afford to bet what I bet. I went to York last month, did all right on the first two days and gave it back on the next two, but that's the way it is and I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Dragon Leader: Ryan Moore's mount was impressive at York
Dragon Leader (Ryan Moore) wins at York last monthCredit: Alan Crowhurst

While the government continues to insist that affordability checks would be "completely frictionless", with most punters never realising the checks were even happening, Thomas had a very different experience when sharing private financial information with one bookmaker, having been informed his account over the previous 12 months was showing a £7,000 loss.

"I sent my tax calculation, details from my savings account and a valuation of my stocks and shares," said the 66-year-old. "They wouldn't accept the stocks and shares document because they said it didn't have the agent's name that I'm investing with, they said my tax calculation wouldn't suffice and that they wanted to see my actual tax return and they wanted to know where the money in my savings account came from. I said no.

"It's fallout time when it comes to that because I think I've provided enough evidence. I sympathise with people who are getting themselves into trouble financially but I'm not one of them and I think I've proved that."

Having had a team of eight greyhounds running at Owlerton Stadium in Sheffield less than three years ago, Thomas now has shares in just three dogs in training and it seems unlikely he will add to that number, or the 33 per cent he owns in one horse with Quinn, anytime soon.

If proposals from the Gambling Commission on how and when affordability checks will be triggered are approved, he also anticipates more bettors will face intrusive checks on their finances and fears it will be the two sports he loves which end up paying as supporters become disillusioned.

He added: "What's going to happen if people like Carl Hinchy walk away? What are people thinking at government level, when a guy like him, who has been betting for years, can't enjoy his hobby? It's painful and serious for the whole sport.

"Me sending that information has done me no good whatsoever, so I don't think I'd do it again. I seriously fear for horseracing and greyhound racing."

  • To complete the Gambling Commission's consultation on affordability checks, visit and follow the instructions.
  • The Racing Post also wants to hear from you: What has been your experience of affordability checks since the white paper was published at the end of April, and what do you think of the government's proposals? Have affordability checks affected your betting behaviour?
  • It's a chance for your voice to be heard. Email the Racing Post at with the subject 'Affordability checks' to share your experiences, your thoughts about the government's proposals, and your contact details.

Your stories of affordability checks:

'All of a sudden you're being made to feel guilty for having a flutter. Why can't it be taken as an enjoyment?' 

'Who the hell came up with this idea in the first place? It must be a small minority who don't like gambling' 

'Having a bet is part of ownership and it has just got more and more difficult' 

'My everyday life is shattered - these implementations will destroy my life and it's to appease a minority' 

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Published on 7 September 2023Last updated 18:39, 7 September 2023