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BGC responds to new £2 and £5 UK online stake limits

Updated:2024-03-25 13:11    Views:109

In response to the recent announcement regarding new stake limits for online slots games, Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) CEO, who is soon transitioning to the role of Chair, has issued the following statement: 

“We welcome the UK Government’s decision on new stake limits for online slots games, which provide enhanced protections for young people. The BGC supported the Government’s intention to reform stake limits and we fully engaged in the consultation process and the discussions with Ministers that led to these proposals.”

The announcement entails the introduction of stake limits for online slot games for the first time, set to come into effect in September. It includes a £2 ($2.53) maximum stake for individuals aged 18 to 24 and a £5 limit for adults aged 25 and over, aligning online stakes with those in casinos. 

The decision follows a 10-week consultation period, during which the majority of respondents supported the proposal to introduce statutory limits for online slot games to mitigate the risk of gambling harm.

Stake limits aim to address concerns regarding the addictive nature of easily accessible online slot games,Free games which can lead to significant losses and extended play sessions.

Dugher added: “It is important to recognise that measures like this come with a cost to our members and impact their customers. Nothing in the White Paper should be viewed in isolation, but instead seen as a total package and I would urge Ministers and the regulator to remain mindful of the overall impact all these changes make for BGC members

"We must avoid customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t tread carefully and get the balance of regulation right.”

The rationale behind setting a lower stake limit for young adults aged 18-24 stems from evidence indicating this age group's vulnerability to gambling-related harm. Factors such as lower disposable income, ongoing neurological development and common life stage factors contribute to increased risk perception and susceptibility to harm.

Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said: "Although millions of people gamble safely every single day, the evidence shows that there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games. We also know that young adults can be more vulnerable when it comes to gambling-related harms, which is why we committed to addressing both of these issues in our white paper.”

The stake limits will be enforced through secondary legislation, with a transition period for operators to ensure compliance. The Government's broader white paper package includes measures to support the land-based gambling industry while aiming to modernise regulations to address digital gambling challenges.

In January 2024, the BGC made a call for action on financial risk checks. This call for action follows months of contention surrounding proposed financial checks within the industry.

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