How the UK’s gambling regulations could change in the coming years
It is not surprising that the gambling industry is one of the most lucrative sectors on a global scale. In particular, there is a huge market for gambling activities in the UK with many people interested in playing at online casinos. With this in mind, it is worth taking a look at the UK’s gambling regulations to see if they will change in the coming years.
Firstly, there are talks about having stakes limited to between £2 and £15 on online slot machines. As slot machines have always dominated the casino floor at land-based casinos, this trend has surely translated to online casino platforms where people flock to play these types of games. However, recently the government has been considering introducing slot-specific measures to better protect 18–24-year-olds. Currently, there are no limits on bets for online slots whereas in-person slot machines in pubs, arcades, bookmakers have a limit of £2 and casinos have limits of up to £5.
Furthermore, steps have also been taken to ensure that the gambling industry is much more safe and secure. For example, the Gambling Commission has been given new powers which will allow them to block unlicensed black market gambling firms from operating in the United Kingdom. This will be achieved through court orders and working with ISPs. As the gambling sector has previously been regarded with suspicion due to illegal operators who are trying to go against the system, this should be a progressive step in combatting those who are threatening the safety of players.
In addition, the coming years should also witness looser restrictions for land-based casinos. Although it seems that online casinos have taken over traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, there is still a number of gambling fans who prefer to visit a physical casino establishment. With this measure, smaller casinos will be permitted 80 gambling machines, up from 20, while more established casino venues will be able to offer credit to high rollers from abroad.
Moreover, there are also plans to introduce legislation that will safeguard players better. This means regularly checking up on players who frequently place bets. By offering players a safe space for discussion, it is hoped that this will be a requirement for every gambling operator. With this rule, betting companies must conduct thorough player protection checks on those gamblers who spend the most to ensure they are not incurring harmful losses. The good thing about these checks is that they will not impact gameplay unless there are alarming signs of financial harm. These checks are not designed to be intrusive but are a way to check in on the well-being of those people who are gambling. If you are gambling however, it is unlikely you will be subject to these checks as they will only apply to 2 in 10 players, and they will go unnoticed as they will take place in the background.
On top of this, anyone who visits an online casino is bound to come across a wide array of bonus offers and rewards which act as incentives. These bonus offers include free bets or spins and encourage players to keep playing and therefore place more bets. As a result, the Gambling Commission has vowed to assess these bonuses and make sure that they are only being put on sites when they are safe to do so. It will take into consideration who they are targeting as well as how they are being promoted to make sure that players are protected.
Other measures that are notable include removing loopholes to prevent under-18s from accessing any form of online gambling, cash prize fruit machines or widely accessible scratch-cards, assessing the fees that local authorities charge for premise licenses and creating new powers for local leaders to carry out impact assessments when considering new applications. Another measure is to review the online game design rules to consider limiting speed of play and other features which increase risks.
Ultimately, while a lot of gambling regulations remain the same as they were several years ago, it is clear to see that the gambling scene has come a long way since its humble beginnings especially in areas such as the UK. With the gambling industry growing day by day, it will be interesting to see what changes will be introduced in the future.