In the United Kingdom and a prominent cross-party think-tank is reportedly set to recommend that the nation’s online gamblers not be allowed to lose more than £100 ($131) a month without first undergoing a strict set of new affordability checks.
According to a Tuesday report from The Guardian newspaper, this monthly ‘soft cap’ proposal from the Social Market Foundation comes at a time of growing clamor for the government to alter how the British iGaming industry is regulated following a recent string of high-profile stories concerning those suffering from an addiction to gambling.
The newspaper reported that the think-tank is also due to push for the iGaming industry to be regulated much more like its land-based counterpart via the imposition of single stake limits on online slots that could begin from as low as £1 ($1.31). This move would purportedly echo last year’s drop of the maximum stake for a fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 down to £2 ($2.62) and help bettors to avoid financial difficulties that are often associated with potentially compulsive behaviors.
The Guardian reported that the Social Market Foundation is moreover set to advocate for the establishment of a gambling ombudsman to oversee the aforementioned changes and administer a new ‘kitemarking’ system intended to promote more responsible iGaming practices. The newspaper detailed that the London-headquartered think-tank furthermore wants this independent body to be joined by a set of more strictly defined sanctions that the Gambling Commission regulator could use against negligent online operators.
Reportedly read a statement from the Social Market Foundation…
“Remote gambling is on the rise yet remains outside the same controls applied to its land-based equivalents. It makes no sense that the same ‘obligation’ to reduce harm through limits to stake and speed should not be applied to an online sector that provides the most accessible content of all.”
The think-tank is additionally expected to call on the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to update the current system that levies a minimal duty on locally-licensed iGaming firms headquartered in offshore jurisdictions such as Gibraltar and Malta. The group purportedly wants this arrangement to be updated with a series of tax incentives that would be designed to tempt such operators to establish a more meaningful presence in the United Kingdom so as to create jobs and promote better compliance on issues concerning gambling addiction.
Finally, the newspaper reported that the Social Market Foundation is furthermore likely to call for an end to the sanctioning of lucrative ‘white-label’ agreements that allow foreign iGaming firms to access to the British market via existing domestic gambling licence holders.