Members of the British Parliament are ready to reign in the online gambling market of the country by imposing a £2 bet ceiling. The government imposed a similar bet ceiling on fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBTs) earlier this year.
Online gambling industry reshape
A recent report by a cross-party group on gambling-related harm voices support for £2 betting limits on online wagers. The MPs involved in the report, including several high-ranking Conservatives, suggest a “root and branch” restructuring of the country’s gambling law. The Group laid out several measures for reducing gambling-related harm and vulnerable people. Their most radical recommendation is an FOBT-style £2 stake limit on all online slot machines.
To ensure gamblers do not go out of their way while playing online, it has recommended that operators stop VIP accounts for consumers who play frequently. Such inducements to play more may cause more trouble for problem gamblers. Another recommendation is to ban the use of credit cards on gambling sites. This will prevent problem gamblers from drowning in debt. The report also wants a fresh inquiry into non-disclosure agreements.
Replacement of the Gambling Act 2005
The report supports the Labour Party’s call for rehauling the Gambling Act 2005 and replacing it with a fresh regulation that factors in today’s condition. They called it “analogue legislation in a digital age” that isn’t designed to manage an industry raking in £5.6 billion per year. The MPs involved in the Group believe that the general elections will not have a detrimental outcome on their plans.
Labour created liberal gambling laws under former PM Tony Blair but is ready to tighten up-regulation. Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson also supports stricter laws. He also criticized the government when it delayed the imposition of maximum stakes on FOBTs at the beginning of this year.
The report in question was published after a six-month-long inquiry into the online gambling sector. It will be published this week recommending a series of measures for handling problem gambling which it terms a ‘public health crisis.’ It says that any activity that is not acceptable in land-based casinos should also be prohibited online.
The MPs recently criticized the UK Gambling Commission for not doing enough to prevent gambling-related harm in the country. A new gambling law could give the regulator more power to oversee the industry and crack down on malicious practices.