Throughout the past couple of decades, there haven’t been many significant changes in UK gambling regulations, apart from the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act. However, in the past two years, in particular, The Gambling Commission has released several moves toward over-regulating the sector. In this post, UK comparison site and expert portal FindBettingSites discusses some of the most significant changes to UK gambling in recent times.
Credit Card payments are now illegal
Earlier in 2020, The Gambling Commission announced that depositing money into your online gambling account using a credit card is now illegal in the United Kingdom. This decision wasn’t taken lightly and was made due to a UKGC survey that discovered that almost one in four gamblers using credit cards were identified as problem gamblers. It’s also no secret that people are racking up enormous credit card debts due to the proliferation of online gambling sites, and the commission has moved to try and stop this from happening.
Combating underage gambling
More data released by the UK Gambling Commission found that, alarmingly, up to 450,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 bet regularly. This has prompted the commission to act, and they have made it a requirement for online casinos to manually verify the age of gamblers before they get access to their sites. Users will now have to upload a picture of their ID, which will then have to be checked by a compliance team member before access to the site is granted. This new legislation goes hand-in-hand with measures already in place, as payments can only be made from the named individual’s debit card on the account. This essentially puts a stop to people using other identities when gambling online.
Reduced maximum stakes
After a successful media campaign, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting shops across the UK have had to reduce maximum bets from £100 to just £2. Such a move was unpopular with bookmakers, but it seems likely that new legislation will seek to enforce something similar online and will be applied to online slots and other casino games. This is a massive blow to the gambling industry’s revenue, as it effectively rules out the income generated from high rollers, who accounted for a significant proportion of revenue before the legislation was rolled out in betting shops. If it is passed into legislation in the coming months, then it will have a massive impact on the online gambling industry.
New Gambling Act 2021?
Although no official announcement has been made yet, it’s understood that the new Gambling Act in 2021 will significantly change how online bookmakers manage accounts. It’s expected that popular VIP Schemes will be eradicated, and many Loyalty Point programmes will also be curbed. Carl Hughes from FindBettingSites predicts that we are also likely to see several Responsible Gambling Tools added to online sites, with online sites potentially being allowed to share customer data to record how much they are gambling across different platforms. These particular changes are there to help prevent people from becoming addicted to gambling online.
Whatever legislation is signed into law in the UK in 2021, we are likely to see much tighter regulation about what is and isn’t permitted online, which will have a considerable impact on the profitability of the UK gambling industry as a whole.
Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org