Recommendations for lawmakers
A new report is calling for extensive changes to the gambling sector in the United Kingdom. Of particular note is the recommendation of a max stake limit for slot games of between £1 ($1.31) and £5 ($6.56), as well as a £100 ($131) monthly “soft cap” deposit limit.
The report by the Social Market Foundation, an independent UK political think-tank, is titled Gambling review and reform – Towards a new regulatory framework. It is co-authored by Dr James Noyes, who was an advisor to Tom Watson, the former deputy leader of the Labor Party and long-time campaigner for safer gambling.
a blueprint for change in advance of the upcoming government review of the Gambling Act
The goal of the report is to create a blueprint for change in advance of the upcoming government review of the Gambling Act. The Act has been in place since 2005; people from many circles have been pushing for it to be updated in line with this digital age.
The limit on slots betting is consistent with what was proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling-Related Harm, as well as a UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) report and results from a survey that was commissioned by the Clean Up Gambling advocacy group.
Strict deposit limits
While there was consideration to suggest betting limits on other game types, the foundation needed further assessments to determine the appropriate limits. Its report noted that many games would not be commercially viable if hard limits are introduced.
A “soft cap” of £100 ($131) on net deposits each month is suggested, with enhanced affordability and due diligence checks needed to increase this limit.
According to the report: “Our proposed weekly threshold sets the bar low enough to protect everyone, including those on low income, but is high enough to reflect the vast majority of gambling activity among the general population.”
Changing the regulatory system
There are also calls to change the gambling regulatory system. The Social Market Foundation wants to see a new Gambling Ombudsman set up, with the UKGC getting replaced by a new Gambling Licensing Authority. The Ombudsman would oversee customer protection, affordability, and data; it would be equal in stature to the Gambling Licensing Authority.
Also recommended is the implementation of a taxation system that would incentivize remote gambling operators to have a more significant footing in the UK.