Online slot stakes to be limited at £5 for over-25s from September

Young adults aged 18 to 24 will be faced with £2 limit as UK government details 12-week transition period for operators to become compliant in first official regulatory change from the white paper
The post Online slot stakes to be limited at £5 for over-25s from September first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Online slot stakes will be limited at £5 per spin for adults aged 25 and over and £2 for 18-to-24-year-olds from September.

The UK government announced the new limits today, 23 February, following the first consultation into the proposed measures as part of the white paper into the Gambling Act 2005 review.

The limits will come into effect in September following secondary legislation, with a six-week transition period for operators to become compliant with the new rules.

The government confirmed a further six-week period will be put in place for the “development of any necessary technical solutions” in regard to the £2 limit for young adults.

Explaining the rationale behind the new limits, the government said young adults have the highest average problem gambling score of any demographic, while there was evidence of a stronger link between gambling-related harm and suicide in young people.

In a press release, the government also pointed to NHS survey figures that put the problem gambling rate for online slots, casino or bingo games at 8.7%.

Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Although millions of people gamble safely every single day, the evidence shows that there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games. 

“We also know that young adults can be more vulnerable when it comes to gambling-related harms, which is why we committed to addressing both of these issues in our white paper.

“The growing popularity of online gambling is clear to see, so this announcement will level the playing field with the land-based sector and is the next step in a host of measures being introduced this year that will protect people from gambling harms,” he added.

Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council CEO, said the trade body supported the government’s intention but pointed to the potential cost for operators.

He said: “It is important to recognise that measures like this come with a cost to our members and impact their customers. 

“Nothing in the white paper should be viewed in isolation, but instead seen as a total package, and I would urge ministers and the regulator to remain mindful of the overall impact all these changes make for BGC members. 

“We must avoid customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t tread carefully and get the balance of regulation right.”

The government confirmed that further details on white paper changes will be published soon, including information relating to affordability checks and the statutory levy.

Gambling Commission executive director Tim Miller confirmed the structure of the pilot into affordability checks this week, with the scheme running for four to six months with a select group of operators.

The post Online slot stakes to be limited at £5 for over-25s from September first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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