May 12th, 2023: In recent months, the UK gambling industry has been focused on news and developments about the government’s white paper on the industry. Now, the paper’s out, and stakeholders can expect sweeping changes in the UK gambling industry aimed primarily at protecting vulnerable players. While most legit betting companies have already adopted policies to prevent harm, there were still instances where these sites have allowed losses that most players cannot afford. One crucial proposal in the white paper is the new stake limits for slot machines that will range between £2 and £15 per spin, and the limits shall apply to two age bands.
‘Polluter pays tax’ and betting limits for two age bands
In the latest white paper for the industry, policymakers are looking at new regulations, including a ‘polluter pays tax’, including a 1 percent profit tax for large gambling operators. But an interesting highlight of the paper is the recommendation to update the betting limits for slot machines. Based on the proposal, the maximum amount you can bet in slot machines shall be split across two age bands- ‘£2 for those under 25 and £15 for those older’. The industry’s current policy seems to protect the most vulnerable, particularly the young players. If this proposal holds, this goes against the initial rumors of capping the maximum between £2 and £5 for all players. This new proposal to set up a betting limit is a way to protect the most vulnerable.
In line with this proposal, the Commission also recommends using frictionless player protection checks to protect players at risk of harm before they can collect harmful losses. Finally, rules will limit the types of bonus offers that shall be marketed to the most vulnerable players.
Other proposals to expect in the white paper
Aside from setting up max limits on slot machine bets, the industry can also count on a few more changes and rules in the industry. For example, it has been proposed that a statutory gambling operator levy will be used to fund the studies and services of the NHS.
Currently, there is no fixed amount that operators must share to help sustain the operations of the NHS, and it has been reported that some operators have only paid £1.
UK Gambling Commission takes the lead in promoting players’ welfare
The proposed rules and changes come as Director of Policy Ian Angus shared that the Commission will ‘continue to take unrelenting action’ against gambling firms that fail to comply with industry regulations and protect players’ welfare. As part of its efforts to police the industry, the Commission has imposed record fines, including a £19.2m fine to William Hill for failing to promote social responsibility.