My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Possible changes coming to UK gambling

With advertising for gambling almost everywhere these days, and new statistics that have come out saying that almost 50% of Britons bet in some form every month, the United Kingdom government have taken steps to ensure that gambling is practised safely.

The industry is worth several billion pounds and it is estimated that almost 1% of the adult population could have a gambling problem, although in reality this could be higher. Credit cards have already been banned to fund accounts, and it seems like online gambling is what will be targeted in the upcoming months.

Reduction of maximum states

Last year, the maximum stakes at Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting shops were reduced from £100 to £2, which is a huge change, proving that the government is willing to take drastic measures.

In general, most players stake less than two pounds on online slots, but high rollers can spin tens or even hundreds of pounds on online slots through a huge number of online sites, so this could have a huge effect on the gambling industry. It is not yet clear what exact measures are being planned, but the most likely seems to be a reduction of the maximum stakes on slots.

When the Gambling Commission announced it was contemplating establishing a similar change, the value of gambling companies instantly dropped, but if the government thinks it is necessary to help stop people from bankrupting themselves, it will not hesitate to implement it.

Constraints on advertising

Gambling advertisements have become incredibly commonplace, whether it is on television, the radio, social media, at live events and even in the street. In fact, in 2017, the industry as a whole spent over £1.5 billion on advertising, and the detractors of gambling argue that it normalises gambling, not just in society but also among under eighteen year olds.

Gambling companies are consistently present as sponsors for major sporting events and it has become a part of almost everyone’s everyday life. New constraints are likely to ban advertising on television during major sporting events and across social media. Both these areas are likely to have children and teenagers viewing them so it is understandable that the government is targeting this.

As for social media, it is difficult to stop advertising or at least the presence of gambling companies, especially for the likes of Skybet who have a request a bet profile on Twitter, or Paddy Power who are known for humorous tweets. Some only follow Paddy Power for this reason, but the government’s position on this is unclear, and it seems they are only targeting explicit adverts, similar to what has been done with their Irish counterparts, who have banned advertising around certain events – such as the GAA.

Limits on VIP and Loyalty Reward Systems

VIP and loyalty reward systems can be very profitable to players, who can get exclusive rewards, exclusive tournaments and often cash back if they continue to stake large amounts of money with the same online casino.

The reason that the gambling regulators take an issue with this is because a few high rollers and recovering gambling addicts have pointed to this as a reason for them continuing to play even if they felt like they no longer wanted to. This is understandable, as the promise of bigger and better rewards is always so tempting.

It is likely that the official regulators will limit what can be offered in these VIP and loyalty reward systems to make sure that when gamblers want to stop and feel they are losing too much, they will not feel forced to continue to benefit from the next stage of these rewards.

This could be a big hit for gambling companies, and is definitely something to keep an eye out for.