Moves made by the UK government to reform gambling will apparently lead to enormous losses for the industry. The current regulations in place were placed way back in 2005, and as such, change is long overdue, but many are concerned by the nature of the likely upcoming proposals.
The government’s white paper addresses, in-depth, a lot of regulatory options that may or may not be pursued, ratified, and put into place. Some of these are being brought in to help problem gamblers, which is a significant issue in the region.
Perhaps the biggest sticking point at present relates to proposed “affordability checks” under which gambling brands and providers would have to perform so-called ‘low-level’ checks if a player were to lose $150 a month or $620 a year; these checks would be to see if the individual in question has suffered a bankruptcy.
If the losses by a player reach as high as $1200 a day to $2400 over 90 days, then stricter checks will be necessary. Importantly, those guidelines would halve if the player is aged between 18 to 24.
The government has admitted that only around 3% of all accounts would fall into these categories, and these checks would occur without the customer knowing by using credit check info.
There will also be measures to instigate a cap on online slot machines.
While currently, the gambling industry voluntarily sets aside funds to aid problem gamblers, the government is keen to make this compulsory with a sum set aside being set as high as 1% of revenue, which adds up to as much as $123 million.
The white paper believes that the implication of the guidelines they are likely to set could cost the industry as much as $990 million a year, but it should be noted that shares in the relevant companies and groups actually rose on news of the details of the governmental review, suggesting that they are broadly pleased with the overall scope and reach of its findings.