It has been clear for a while that the gambling climate in the UK has been changing for the worse for a while. Politicians and lobby groups are pushing for more restrictive policies and regulations. The Government already reached a decision to put a £2 stake limit on FOBTs starting from April. There have been calls to introduce a new gambling levy in the UK and lately, the topic of conversation shifted to loot boxes. Namely, loot boxes have been classified as a form of gambling by many experts and certain countries and now there is a lot more pressure on government to act.
An online limit to match the FOBTs limit
Once the limit on FOBTs was implemented, there was more pressure to increase the betting limits on online games as well. It seems that now there is an initiative put forward by a group of MPs who are asking for a complete change of the gambling law and for a similar limit to be introduced on online casino games.
Problem gambling and protection of vulnerable groups has been a key focus lately and some of the measures proposed by the cross-party group that is looking to deal with gambling-related harm include a £2 stake-limit and restrictions on so called VIP accounts. Furthermore, considering the latest events regarding non-disclosure agreements and Ladbrokes’ handling of the case where one of their players stole funds and used them to gamble, there is also a call to launch an investigation into NDA and their format. Another topic that has been discussed lately – credit cards and credit card betting has also been in the focus of the report.
The Labour Party via various representatives has expressed its more restrictive views on gambling and their view that the Gambling Act of 2005 should be replaced. This attitude of the main opposition party has also been echoed in the report where the Act has been expressed as an analogue legislation in a digital era.
Representatives of multiple parties support the new measures
As you know, a general election has been scheduled for later this year, but it is believed that the parliamentary group that deals with issues regarding gambling related harm is going to influence new legislation regardless of the outcome of the general election.
It is interesting to note that it was a Labour government that liberalised gambling, but the party’s current position has shifted away from Blair’s policy. It is believed that the PM himself also holds a sympathetic view towards more restrictive regulations. Ian Duncan Smith, Conservative MP, together with Labour’s Carolyn Harris and Ronnie Cowan from the SNP Put together the report that includes the abovementioned recommendations.
The report includes findings provided by gambling operators as well as data collected from surveys of problem gamblers. It is more than clear that the mentioned ban on slots and online gambling echoes the ban on FOBTs. The reasoning behind this is simple, if someone is not allowed to lose a certain amount of money at a land-based location, it should not be an option to lose as much online.
The average disposable income throughout the UK is limited at £450, but many people have wagered and lost significantly more before the operator decides to check their accounts.