In an attempt to assist problem gamblers, UK casinos are set to introduce limits on their slot action. Politicians of all parties have worked together to bring in legislation that will see £5 limits set on digital spins.
It’s just one part of a long-awaited update to gambling laws in the country. These also include a new gambling tax that will apply to betting companies in the UK. Right now, there is no cap on how much a player can wager on a single casino game, so the move to adopt a £5 cap is a pretty bold move.
Additional aspects of the gambling white paper will see Premier League soccer clubs move gambling sponsorship from the front of their shirts, though they can still be placed on sleeves and other merchandise.
Interestingly a recent poll suggested that such moves may well lead to players moving to unregulated websites, with as much as 79% of those polled suggesting they’d do so. The moves taken by the government are designed to reduce gambling-related harm, as outlined by a statement from a DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport);
“We do not comment on speculation. We are determined to protect those most at risk of gambling-related harm and are working to finalise details of our review.”
“The white paper will strengthen our regulatory framework to ensure it is fit for the digital age.”
Fears of the impact of new restrictions appear to center around the possible need for bookmakers to request financial documents from prospective players, with the same YouGov poll stating;
“70% of Brits said they would consider a different bookmaker if they were asked to provide private financial documents in order to place a bet.”
The Betting and Gaming Council’s CEO, Michael Dugher, has concerns about what may follow the recommendations set out by the white paper;
“We want to see genuinely non-intrusive checks, which use technology to carefully target and protect the tiny minority of vulnerable punters, but intrusive, blanket, low level so-called ‘affordability’ checks will be universally rejected by punters.”
Such guidelines and changes may still be someway on the horizon as a number of stages need to be passed before aspects of the white paper are written into law.
Recent reports suggest that over 40 million people in the UK have participated in online casino games, which is a relatively high number given the overall population.