Proposed Gambling Limit Hits Shares Hard
by Glenn Baird - February 14, 2020
Following a series of high profile meetings involving the UK’s gambling regulator, proposals have been made to cut the maximum wager at online casinos to £2, keeping the online industry in check with the limits applied to Fixed Odds Betting Machines.
A decision on this will be made within the next 6 months and could result major losses for UK gambling firms, something that was reflected in yesterday’s share drop that amounted to hundreds of millions of pounds.
When Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, announced that the regulator would be considering the significant reduction in maximum stakes investors saw this as their opportunity to jump ship.
The impact was widespread affecting operators, such as William Hill who saw their shares down by 8%, and providers like Playtech who took a hit of 7%.
When the dust began to settle on Thursday morning it was estimated that the UK gambling industry suffered a loss of over 500 million pounds.
A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said: “We said last October that we would be looking at online stake limits as part of our ongoing work to reduce the risks of gambling-related harm.
“This work is in addition to us focusing on VIP practices, advertising technology and game design. We will publish our assessment and next steps for online stakes and further protections later this year.”
The turbulent year predicted for the UK gambling industry appears to have started, with calls at the end of 2005 for a revamped Gambling Act.
This reduction in the maximum online stake has clearly been designed to help those who are considered at-risk gamblers now and prevent future generations from falling into the same trap, but concerns still persist that an over-regulated market could drive those the changes are designed to protect towards an unregulated black market.