UKGC Considers Online Betting Limit
by Glenn Baird - February 13, 2020
The UK’s gambling regulator reveal to a committee of MPs yesterday that they could be considering changing the law by introducing limits on the amount that could be spent on online gambling and that a decision would be made within the next 6 months.
Chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur told the committee that limits on online stakes would be something that the regulator would be looking into and that a decision would be made before the end of August 2020.
Labour MP and Chair of the parliamentary committee on gambling-related harm, Carolyn Harris said: “A review of stake limits online has been clearly recommended by the all-party parliamentary group and is long overdue. I am very pleased that the Gambling Commission has finally seen sense on this,”
She went on to say: “Online slot content games should be reduced to £2 a spin in line with the rules in betting shops. The Gambling Commission must stop being reactive and take action to protect the vulnerable from harm in line with their licensing objectives,”
It would appear that last year’s regulatory alterations to the use of credit cards and age verification could merely be the beginnings of much bigger changes to the online gambling industry in the UK.
Following on from criticism received on Tuesday in the House of Lords, the UKGC will not want to be accused of being reactive again and will most likely want to see certain changes implemented before the press clamour for them to do so.
Despite this, campaigners would still argue that changes to maximum bets allowed online have been slow in making it to the UKGC’s table.
James Noyes, former aide to ex-deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said: “It makes no sense that stake limits for physical machines are enshrined in law, yet there is no equivalent for online gambling,”
“Just as there are fixed categories of machine in casinos and arcades, we need to see the same introduced online.”
However, Brigid Simmons, chair of the Betting and Gaming Council, warned of the dangers that could occur in an industry that becomes over-regulated: “we need to have an online betting gaming industry in this country which is best-in-class but also competitive in a world where, if you are not careful, you could drive people into the black market, which we don’t want to do”.