The industry organization representing approximately 90% of gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators in the United Kingdom has reportedly called on the government not to institute low maximum online single stake limits.
According to a source citing an earlier report from The Times newspaper, the plea from the influential Betting and Gaming Council comes as the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to lay out its future vision of the nation’s online gaming market via the publication of a ‘white paper’. This long-running exercise could purportedly ultimately result in legislative alterations to the Gambling Act of 2005 rumored to encompass the imposition of maximum online single stake limits from £5 ($6.06) down to as low as £2 ($2.42).
The newspaper reportedly detailed other changes to the nation’s current iGaming scene reputedly contained within the coming ‘white paper’ run from a total ban on complimentary bets and VIP packages for those with hefty losses to an obligation for operators to begin running punter affordability checks. The source purportedly declared that these could well be joined by a requirement for iGaming firms to remove any online feature that may ‘increase the level of risk’ for customers in addition to increased powers and fees for the Gambling Commission regulator.
Despite detailing that it is in favor of the review of the British iGaming industry, the Betting and Gaming Council nevertheless reportedly warned that some 119,000 people are currently employed by the nation’s ‘regulated betting and gaming industry.’ The organization purportedly went on to advise the government that any drastic changes to the current online gambling landscape could put these jobs at risk, lead to a decrease in tax contributions and push punters into the ‘black market’ world of unlicensed operators.
Reportedly read a statement from the Betting and Gaming Council…
“The latest statistics show the rate of problem gambling in the year to March of 2022 was 0.2%, which was down from 0.4% for the year previous. However, the number of punters using the unsafe and unregulated ‘black market’ has doubled in recent years to 460,000 and the amount being bet is now in the billions. The ‘white paper’ will have to balance the need to protect the vulnerable and those at risk whilst not driving the millions of people who enjoy a bet perfectly safely to the ‘black market’.”
Although the ‘white paper’ was due to suggest the implementation of a complete ban on iGaming firms sponsoring the shirts of top-flight sporting organizations such as teams from the Premier League, The Times reportedly disclosed that this suggestion is to now be replaced with a preference for such organizations to reach voluntary restriction agreements.
The source additionally divulged that numerous industry analysts now expect the British government to publish its ‘white paper’ of suggested iGaming reforms within the next few weeks. A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport purportedly pronounced that this process has involved ‘the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years’ as part of an effort to ensure such regulations are ‘fit for the digital age.’