UK Government to Implement Maximum Online Gambling Stakes

An online gambling review has long been in the pipeline in the UK, with this first mooted over two years ago, something that has not quite come to fruition. Governmental changes and politics are partly to blame for a delay in any progress.

It seemingly appears that this could be set to come to fruition in the coming weeks, with maximum stakes highlighted as the main priority in a bid to curb gambling addiction in the UK.

First suggestions indicate that these could range from between £2 and £5 per bet, with those people who want to gamble more only being allowed to if they can afford it. As a result, this could pave the way for stricter control, such as credit checks, as part of a gambling company’s KYC (Know Your Customer) policy at registration.

Initiative to Protect the Vulnerable

Such a move from the UK government has had much support, especially from many of the anti-gambling trusts and charities that have been set up in the UK to help protect those who are most at risk from gambling.

Suicide rates in the UK, particularly among young male adults, have risen considerably over the last few years because of spiraling debt caused by gambling, and implementing these stricter measures can help prevent this in the future.

Previous Prime Minister Liz Truss had reportedly scrapped the gambling review. However, her replacement, Rishi Sunak, is keen to reignite it as soon as possible.

We are determined to protect those most at risk of gambling-related harm, including young people, and are working to finalize details of the gambling white paper. This will strengthen our regulatory framework to ensure it fits the digital age.

Official StatementDepartment for Media, Culture & Sport

How Could This Affect Gambling Companies?

Such a change to maximum stakes could well have a significant effect on revenue for gambling companies that operate in the UK, which for some, may lead to a withdrawal from the UK market - up until a couple of years ago - one of the most lucrative in the world, prior to the emergence of the US.

The government knows that the trade-off in the regulation of the online gambling industry in 2005 was that it would make a significant amount in taxable revenue from operators - in the region of £3 billion each year.

However, with a rise in gambling addiction in the UK, which has overwhelmed the public health system in recent years, the general consensus was that a major overhaul was needed.

Implementing tighter regulations that gambling companies would need to adhere to in the interest of a gambler’s well-being, or face heavy fines, is seen as the only logical step in combating addiction.

For any gambling operator to withdraw from the UK market would be seen as a radical step, especially if other markets follow suit. Already, the Dutch online gambling market, which has only been regulated for just over one year, is emerging as one of the strictest in the world, and it could lead to others following suit.