Limits on Online Stakes Under Consideration as the DCMS Launches Review of the UK Gambling Act

The UK has been intending to overhaul its gambling laws for some time now, and recent proposals during discussion of such have been released. In fact, a wide-ranging review of the country’s gambling laws launched by the DCMS will bring a variety of changes into effect. This includes the complete banning of sports sponsorship and limitation of online casino stakes that players will need to adhere to.

The previous huge review of the UK gambling sector came when the Gambling Act 2005 was introduced. However, the upcoming overhaul could pretty much cancel out multiple points that that act established, with the long-awaited review of such beginning today.

At the same time, the terms of reference will be published, providing an insight into what exactly is in store for the gambling industry in the UK. The role of gambling in wider society has been a target area for campaigners who have been calling for tougher regulations to be introduced for some time. Therefore, the changes under consideration will include the following points:

  • Limits introduced on online stakes, prizes and ‘spin speeds’.
  • Tougher affordability checks.
  • A thorough testing regime for new products.
  • A ban on all sports sponsorship by betting brands.
  • Introduction of new powers to tackle the parallel market.
  • Legal redress for wronged bettors.
  • The introduction of a mandatory levy in order to fund addiction treatment.
  • Age limit regulation.

Obviously, advocates of tighter regulations will likely welcome the proposed changes. Those advocates have included recovering problem gamblers and over 50 UK MPs and peers. On the other hand, a harsh online gambling climate is likely to concern casino and sports betting operators in the UK.

However, almost every area of gambling law is under scrutiny with officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), according to multiple sources. One of the biggest key areas is the regulation of online casino and electronic slot machine games. At the moment, players can wager unlimited amounts via the internet. For this reason, these casino games may suffer the same fate as land-based fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), that had their maximum stakes cut to £2.

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