UK gambling legislation white paper published by government
After numerous delays, UK’s long-awaited gambling white paper has finally been released.
The United Kingdom’s DCMS has recently published the long-awaited document that precedes the upcoming reform of the country’s gambling legislation. The paper’s main proposals are lower betting limits, more frequent affordability checks, and more rigorous protection mechanisms for younger gamblers and children, among many others.
The white paper started off with numerous proposals for online protections. One of this section’s most talked about proposals is a 2-pound betting limit, although the department also suggested a maximum limit of 15 pounds. This would apply mainly to online slot games and include other protections tailored to younger gamblers up to 24 years old.
The document also proposed more frequent financial risk assessments carried out after a player’s net losses exceed 125 pounds in a month and 500 pounds in a year. These would be done via numerous indirect indicators, reserving more thorough affordability checks for gamblers who experienced net losses of over a thousand pounds in 24 hours or over 2 thousand pounds within a 90-day period. These thresholds would then be cut in half for younger players to further enhance their protections.
Up next, the white paper proposed a number of changes to the industry’s advertisements with the main aim being to reduce exposure to vulnerable members of society. It suggested an opt-in system for various promotions on gambling bonuses and other similar offers, along with a more in-depth use of advanced technologies to ensure that industry ads do not target children and vulnerable groups.
The DCMS also proposed enhancements to the UKGC’s resources and responsibilities, suggesting that the regulator should be more proactive about analyzing the compliance levels of licensed operators. It also talked about giving the commission an increased capacity to pursue unauthorized gambling businesses in court and work with ISPs and payment systems to restrict access to such operators.
Lastly, the report made numerous suggestions for the land-based sector, which contains a few looser restrictions, such as allowing all gambling establishments to offer sports wagering and increasing the number of gambling machines permitted at their venues. The paper also proposed officially banning under-18s from gambling at certain terminals, although it mentioned that a large portion of operators have already voluntarily enacted the policy.
The white paper has been largely well-received by the majority of local industry professionals and companies, although many of them, especially charitable organizations aimed at helping problem gamblers, are calling for improvements and stricter regulations in numerous areas.