Gambling is one of the favourite past times of the people of the UK. Gambling is a highly accessible form of entertainment and the market is growing steadily year by year. Looking at the latest statistics by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC, the governing body of gambling related business in the UK), we can see that the total gambling market was worth £14.3 billion between October 2018 and September 2019. As the industry keeps growing, some heated debates occur whether this business should be curbed to protect people from problem gambling. Let’s look at some of the most recent regulations affecting online slots players in the UK.
Credit card ban
In April 2020, the UKGC has introduced new regulations in regard to credit card use on gambling websites. Before April 2020, a player could deposit money into their account using a credit card. Piece of cake right? That is no more. The gambling commission argues that by using a credit card a player is essentially borrowing money to gamble, which puts many players at risk of gambling addiction and those already in trouble have the means to worsen their situation.
£2 stake maximum
Before 1st of April 2019, the maximum bet on Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs, land-based betting machines) was £100. That enabled players both for huge wins and huge loses. As of April 2019, the maximum bet on FOBTs is now £2 and the maximum prize from a single win is £500.
This regulation was considered to be controversial. One party argued that land-based gaming machines are a major cause of problem gambling and the £100 single bet is way too steep to be legal, while the other group denied the link between FOBTs and gambling addiction and also argued that the maximum stake of £2 would put betting shops and jobs at risk.
Regardless, the motion was brought forward. We can see today that this regulation hasn’t wreaked havoc on the gambling industry so far!
2021 Gambling Act – what’s new?
As we anticipate the new gambling act coming into action, lets look at some of it’s components.
The VIP schemes offered by casinos and bookmakers are very likely to be banned. The Gambling Commission argues that problem gambling and fraud is way more likely to occur with VIP players. There might be a shade of inequality in the way customers are profiled for these VIP schemes, and that, according to UKGC, should not be legal.
We are also looking at a possible curb of maximum single bet through online operators. While it is not known to what extent the maximum online stake is to be reduced, it is likely to be above the £2 limit that we see in land-based casinos.
We are also likely to see a ban of withdraw reversal. At present, a player can cancel any pending (still being processed by the website) withdrawal of winnings and reinstate it back into the account. As UKGC sees it, this is a problem for players at risk, as this way they are encouraged to keep playing.
As we await the changes to take place, lets kick back and enjoy slots as we know it for now. Make sure to play responsibly and as always, we wish you huge wins!