UK’s New Gambling White Paper Suggests Strict New Changes for Players
Last month, the UK government published a set of new gambling rules that could soon become law, one of the most significant changes being a newly imposed limit on slot machine bets aimed toward protecting younger players.
According to the paper, limits will likely be between £2 and £15, with the goal of keeping young players from overspending. In addition to the new limits for online slot machines, the newly published white paper laid out plans to increase taxes for gambling providers, create a system of increased accountability checks for customers, and fund more non-profits that battle gambling addiction.
All new rules suggested in this policy paper are created with the intention of bringing Britain’s gambling laws up-to-date with modern technology as mobile play surges around the country.
Setting betting limits for slot games is not new, as several game providers, like the popular Flutter, changed their limits in 2021 to £10. The UK government has been in the process of creating this new set of guidelines since 2020, so both casino operators and game-developing companies have had time to brace themselves for the new constraints.
However, the actual plan to impose these limits is still unclear. The government may decide to cap it at a betting limit or intervene on an individual basis. One method described by BBC suggests that limits may kick in after a gambler has lost over £1,000 in 24 hours, or £2,000 in 90 hours. These limits are likely going to affect players ages 18-25.
While many in parliament have argued that changes are necessary to protect the most vulnerable, other parties are worried that imposing too many sanctions on players will only drive players offshore and to casinos not on GamStop, leading to less taxable profits for the country.
The UK has some of the toughest restrictions for players and requires KYC checks and other information before players can sign up. This drives gambling enthusiasts to look for easier ways to register with non-UKGC sites. Currently, the UK makes £12.5 billion a year in revenue from gambling sites. Much of it is invested in groups that treat gambling addictions.
A Financial Times report found that based on the recently released white paper, the reforms will trim yields from across the sector between 3-10% once they are implemented. Online gambling revenues will likely suffer the most, losing between 8 and 14%.
During Covid, the government saw large increases in online gambling, especially from mobile phones. This is an issue worldwide, as countries across Africa that allow betting are also seeing a massive increase in customers correlating to increased access to mobile technology. Many countries will likely serve up similar reforms in accordance with developing technologies and the issues they present.