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UK MPs Pushing for Maximum £2 Stake on UK Slots

UK MPs Pushing for Maximum £2 Stake on UK Slots

Slot machine gambling is a huge part of British culture, and with UK Gambling Commission regulations and audits of local and online casinos, in addition to organisations widely available for help with gambling addictions, many UK punters feel that they are free to gamble safely with appropriate levels of support and protection in place. However, not everybody shares the same view. Some – including members of the UK Government – would argue that slot machines exacerbate the issue of gambling addiction, in particular thanks to the high-value stakes that are enabled on some games.

Subsequently, the Conservative Party Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has launched a huge, comprehensive review of gambling laws in the UK which includes age limits, advertising and online slots stake limits to be considered. Some MPs are pushing to add extra protection for gamblers by drastically reducing the stake limits on slots from £100 to as little as £2 per spin. The review calls for a great deal of evidence to study how gambling activity has changed during the past 15 years, with many areas to be explored. The Gambling Act Review is taking place over 16 weeks until 31st March 2021.

Why is a £2 Stake Limit Being Considered?

The key aim of the maximum stake limit reduction is to assist vulnerable players who are at a higher risk of falling into financial difficulties as a result of potentially addictive online slots games. The proposal is to significantly limit how much punters can possibly bet while spinning the reels of slots. It isn’t a new phenomenon, but with the heavy migration of gambling to online establishments and how freely accessible slots online are, the focus has recently shifted to restricting online games.

What Might the Effects Be on Players and Businesses?

The argument for a stake limit is to offer a greater level of protection for the most vulnerable gamblers, and therefore, MPs hope to see a reduction in levels of problem gambling. The idea is that by only allowing small wagers, players are much less likely to lose huge sums over a short timeframe. Additionally, the £2 stake limit isn’t particularly low if you consider the speed at which a player can spin the reels of an online slot machine.

On the other hand, betting companies are feeling the opposing effects already. Falling shares have been reported already, with predictions by Barclays that there could be millions in losses seen for the leading names in the industry, plus potentially greater devastating effects on the smaller gambling companies.  As many as 20,000 jobs could be lost also, according to the Association of British Bookmakers.

Other Gambling Policies Under Review

Alongside stake limit reduction, The Gambling Act Review will see gambling advertising, age limits and the role of the Gambling Commission investigated. The National Lottery, for instance, will have its minimum age raised from 16 to 18 in order to protect young people from the effects of gambling. It was announced on 8th December 2020 that this minimum age would be raised to 18 from October 2021. On the whole, the Government is looking at how to balance the enjoyment punters get from their gambling pastime, as well as ensuring the appropriate protections and regulatory framework is in place.

£2 Slots Maximum Stakes – The Verdict

The issue of the £2 maximums stake remains controversial; the Government are clearly attempting to protect vulnerable gamblers but how realistic is it to maintain a thriving, well-enjoyed industry with such heavy restrictions? Time will certainly tell for businesses who rely on slots as their main revenue percentage. Will players still flock to popular online slot games such as Starburst and Fluffy Favourites, and will we see the industry in decline? Or perhaps gamblers will, in time, feel that they can participate in their favourite pastime more safely with greater restrictions? We don’t know what the future will hold, but for now, we will enjoy our favourite UK slots games.