UK Gambling White Paper Consultations Officially Published

The British government has published a public consultation with all stakeholders to proceed with the white paper published to their gambling law. Amongst other things, the consultation asks for input in the field of player limits for pokies, financial background checks, and country-specific rules for online casino games.

The consultation asks British consumers, gambling operators, health care professionals, academics, and people who struggle with gambling addictions to provide input that can be used for financial risk controls in order to prevent gambling addiction. The British government also seeks input on how high the playing limits for online pokies should be as well as opinions on the new rules for country-specific offerings.

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Input For The New Gambling Law

The latest announcement is another step forward after the recent publication of the White Paper in which the government set out its vision for the future of the new gambling law. There were also consultation rounds for the preparation of the White Paper. Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society had the following to say about the plans to modernise the gambling law in the UK:

“Three months ago we made proposals to adapt gambling laws to meet the modern smartphone era. Pokie machines in brick and mortar casinos, amusement arcades and betting shops have strict betting limits, but the same online games do not, which can lead to large losses within short frames. Today we are launching a consultation on what the betting limit should be. I therefore encourage you to voice your opinion.”

Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society

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Introduction of Betting Limits

The playing limits that are likely to be introduced in the UK mainly apply to online pokies. This group of casino games are considered a riskier gambling product, and are widely associated with big losses, long sessions, and repeated play, the UK government explained. There are already betting limits for the country-specific offer of land based versions and this will need to be enrolled for their online counterparts as well. The UK government seeks to set a maximum bet of between £ 2 and £ 15 (between NZ$ 4,16 and NZ$ 31,20) per spin.

Protection Of Young Adults

Research requested by the British government has also shown that young adults are particularly vulnerable to gambling harm. The government in the UK therefore wants to introduce increased protection for pokie play by people who belong to the 18 to 24 year age gap. This includes lower betting limits of £ 2 (NZ$ 4,16) to £ 4 (NZ$ 8,32) or specific requirements for operators to include age settings in their algorithms to detect problematic gambling behaviour. In the Netherlands, the government also makes a distinction between young adults (18 to 24) and adults (24 and older) when it comes to gambling, the offering of bonuses, and marketing campaigns. Online casinos in the country are not allowed to target younger players although they are allowed to engage in online gambling.

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Updated Gambling Act

Although the online industry in the UK has grown significantly since the Gambling Act of 2005, casinos and bingo halls still work with outdated rules from that era. This limits their overall ability to compete according to modern market standards, the British government writes. The recently submitted White Paper was therefore positively received in various areas by the country-specific sector. According to the government, the proposed changes should enable the land-based sector to “sustainably prosper, respond to demand, and continue to recover from the impact of the corona pandemic, whilst protecting customers.”

Other Consultations In The Making

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is also looking for new ways to give British consumers more control over direct marketing campaigns. Punters should be given the flexibility to choose which gambling products they want to be exposed to and through which marketing channels. In addition, another consultation has started to reduce the speed of online games, to reinforce age control in land-based casinos, and considers the possibilities of also introducing a new licence system for game providers that offer their casino games in the UK. Later this summer, a consultation on potentially new levies on both online and land-based operators will take place, as well as how to finance funding for gambling research, education, and treatment of gambling addiction.

Make Sure To Read: UK Minister of State Scully: White Paper Gaming Reform Due Soon

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