As part of ongoing moves to protect problem gamblers, the UK government is likely to move towards passing strict regulations on players under the age of 25.
Under the planned guidance, players under 25 will be banned from betting more than £2 ($2.47) per spin. Players over the age of 25 will be allowed to bet up to a planned limit of $18.50 per spin.
UK ministers will also push for casinos and betting firms to commit to a new tax that is then used as a fund to help problem gamblers. They must also run credit checks on prospective players to avoid them going heavily into debt, and free bet offers will be subject to new controls.
This comes off the back of pushes to remove sponsorship from the casino industry appearing at sporting events. Premier League soccer clubs have already agreed to voluntarily remove gambling logos from the front of shirts.
The gambling industry went through quite a renaissance in recent years in the United Kingdom, with the market making around $12 billion in revenue before tax. The majority of this came from online betting, with around 30% coming from land-based casinos.
Regulations will take a while to be pushed through, but they do signal an intention to make stringent changes, with the timeline outlined by one source being as follows.
The white paper will be a roadmap of the government’s expectations for the gambling industry, but it won’t be the final word. It’s a draft version of the regulations that will still be open to final review among lawmakers and that will need input from gaming industry insiders. Only after those consultations will the final version of the new laws be ready for implementation.
Some view the changes as draconian, not least given the lengths and processes enacted by casino operators in the region, specifically designed to prevent problem gamblers from betting beyond their means.
In the coming weeks and months, it will become clear as to how far the government will attempt to hamstring the industry.