In recent months it has been reported by the media that the UK’s gambling industry regulator is considering putting limits, for example, £2 limits on the amount players will be permitted to bet when playing your favourite games. This has been met with opposing views and has ignited a conversation about player’s freedoms to spend what they wish, casino’s ethical responsibilities and the government’s responsibility to put laws in place to protect players from problem gambling. It was said that the CEO of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur, advised that a decision would be made on this issue in 2020.
Following the announcement made by MPs who were calling for online slots to be subject to a £2 per bet maximum in November, the stock market saw a huge drop in shares in gambling companies which wiped almost £1.2bn off the gambling sectors market value – there was an uneasy feeling that this could mean big trouble for the gambling and slot industry.
Of course, this is all well-meaning as it is to try to help players who have gambling problems, but what does it mean for players? Well, it’s not really all doom and gloom and it isn’t as restrictive as it at first sounds, so don’t panic! It will essentially mean that online slots will be more in line with high street bookmakers and land-based slot machines so that any slot game you play in the UK, whether online or offline, will be reduced to £2 per spin. This is a bid to help protect the most vulnerable players in our society from harm and falling into problem gambling.
This comes after stricter regulations which were implemented on high-speed electronic slot machines, which are also referred to as fixed-odds machines, back in April 2019 which was also limited to £2 per spin, down for a limit of £100 – which is a huge difference. Let’s face it – unless you are a really high roller with a huge bankroll, you most likely wouldn’t want to play £100 per spin in any case. This will mean that players will be given a helping hand to manage their bankroll so they aren’t losing money at a rapid rate.
Many players agree with the limits especially those who have run into trouble whilst gambling in the past by spending over their budget and many say this change is a great way to set the parameters for gambling in the digital age.
The changes didn’t come as much of a surprise to the Betting and Gaming Council, who expected the change but also voiced their worries that if the UK gambling market doesn’t remain competitive it could drive some players into playing slots on illegal gambling sites which is certainly not something players should consider.
Despite any future restrictions, you will still be able to play your favourite slot games and place your bets – the move will just mean your bankroll will be safeguarded and your slot play might just last a bit longer! If you’re already a player who places low bets to enjoy the games for as long as you can, you may not even notice the difference!