A UK panel of lawmakers are calling for £2 betting limits at online and mobile gambling sites.
The UK is known to
harness the strictest of all legalized gambling regulations in the
world, encompassing all verticals – casino, poker, bingo, sports,
and racing, both on land and online. Every time we turn around, the
government is looking to enforce a new measure or strengthen an
existing one. Player protection is at the heart of the matter; namely
the minimization of problem gambling and prevention of illegal
activity (identity fraud, money-laundering).
what UK lawmakers had in mind last year when they approved an
amendment to the Gambling Act that would reduce the maximum
wager on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to just £2.
retail betting operators) said the change was far too drastic; that a
£25 or £50 limit would be more appropriate. The government
rebutted, stating even a £10 limit would give problem gamblers the
ability to rapidly “cause them and their families significant
It was ultimately
decided that a £2 limit was the only honorable option, and while it
took far longer than the government would have liked to get the new
rule enacted, the £2 stake limit on FOBTs finally went into effect
earlier this year. In the meantime, however, another panel of
lawmakers was preparing a 6-month review of the regions internet
gambling market, and you’ll never guess what the recommendation to
reduce harm in the iGaming sector was…
£2 Limits for Online and Mobile Gambling Sites
scripted by the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary
Group amid public concerns, determined – as the old cliché
goes – that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Simply put, if wagers of more than £2 “are not acceptable in
land-based venues, they should not be allowed online,” reads the
“It is now a
matter of urgency that stake and deposit limits are introduced in
online gambling to reduce the harm that the industry is causing,”
the document urges.
Officials are also
recommending that credit card gambling be banned over the internet.
That’s an issue that’s been on the table and gaining steam for
several months now.
Industry Figureheads Vehemently Opposed
In writing their
research findings, the panel of lawmakers pointed out what they
referred to as the “cowardly behavior” of Kenny Alexander, CEO of
GVC Holdings, for refusing to be interviewed for the study.
When questioned by media giant Bloomberg, Alexander said, “GVC is committed to working with regulators and legislators to promote responsible gambling.” However, he fears the government’s plan will only make the problem worse.
“Over-regulation…would be highly counterproductive and do far more harm than good. Such measures could lead to an increase in problem gambling, as customers move away from responsible, regulated operators towards the black market.”
chair of iGaming industry’s own research and recommendation group,
The Betting and Gaming Council, also believes lawmakers are going too
far, and that operators are doing everything in their power to
alleviate the situation from within.
responding positively to public concerns about safer gambling by
investing significantly in new technology that identifies risk of
harm at an early stage and developing new affordability measures to
ensure safer gambling,” said Simmonds. She concluded that the UK’s
biggest operators of online and mobile gambling sites will continue
to auscultate concerns.
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