Maximum stakes for online gambling part of Government crackdown

Evening Standard
Maximum stakes for online gambling part of Government crackdown

The findings of a review of the 17-year-old gambling laws is set to be released, with maximum stakes for online slot machines one reform set to be implemented, the Times reports.

The maximum stakes would be between £2 and £5, with people able to make bigger bets only if they can afford to. Stakes currently do not have any limit online.

Gamblers may also be subject to financial checks, including credit checks, although the Government will consult on the details of this reform.

Ministers also want to introduce measures to protect under-18s from gambling online, according to the Times, and an ombudsman will be set up to deal with disuptes.

However, the Government reportedly has dropped plans to ban gambling companies from sponsoring football shirts for Premier League clubs and will relax regulations for casinos.

The Times reports that the review was shelved by Liz Truss but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was to push ahead with it. The review is Conservative manifesto pledge.

It comes as online gambling causes a surge in suicidal young men turning to A&E, according to health bosses at the NHS.

A 42 percent annual rise in demand for NHS gambling clinics has resulted in the health service needing to open another two facilities in England to cope.

According to the clinical lead and consultant psychologist for the NHS Northern Gambling Service Matt Gaskell, the clinics are full of “young men in football shirts” who have fallen foul of “predatory tactics” by betting firms.

The age group most likely to participate in gambling is the 25 to 3-year-old group, the Gambling Commission said.

Data from the Gambling Commission’s quarterly telephone survey saw the proportion of adults gambling online (18 percent) equal the proportion of people gambling in person (18 percent) – whereas five years before in person rates were approximately double online participation rates.

About 2.2 million people are problem gamblers or at risk of addiction.

ADepartment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sportspokesperson said: “We are determined to protect those most at risk of gambling-related harm, including young people, and are working to finalise details of the gambling white paper.

“This will strengthen our regulatory framework to ensure it is fit for the digital age.”

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