Slot Games in GB to Receive Betting and Deposit Limit, Suggests a New Report

Report published today suggests mandatory betting limits and deposit limits for online slot games in Great Britain. Besides those changes, the report proposes changes on taxation, licenses and regulatory framework changes.

New Report Outlines the Framework for Gambling Regulation in Great Britain

A report published today by the Social Market Foundation suggests a mandatory betting limit for online slot games between £1 and £5 in Great Britain. In addition, the report suggests a “soft cap” limit of £100 per month on net deposits. The report by the Social Market Foundation was created by Dr James Noyes – a former advisor to Tom Watson, ex-Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and the Researcher Jake Shepherd. The document on “Gambling review and reform” outlines recommendations and proposals towards a new regulatory framework for gambling in GB. The report comes at a time when the UK government is planning to review the Gambling Act of 2005 this autumn.

This report is designed to be a practical roadmap of first principles for the reform of gambling regulation and the industry,

reads the report

According to the paper, the GB government has described the need for an: “analogue Act” in line with the “digital age.” The document suggests that although online gambling is increasing in popularity and profitability, the activity is not subject to same controls as land-based casino operations. With that in mind, the authors of the report decided to focus on online gambling. The report proposes changes in five key topics:

  • Gambling content
  • Gambling affordability
  • Licenses for gambling
  • Gambling tax
  • The regulatory framework for gambling

The report Proposes Bet Limit and Deposit Limit for Online Slots

The report suggests the implementation of controls for online (remote) gambling. According to the paper, limits on both stake and speed of play need to be introduced. Online slots should have limits of £1 and £5 per bet. On the other hand, according to the report, non-slot content should receive limits on game design. This is because if non-slot content receives bet limits, it may become: “commercially non-viable.

The authors of the report further outlined a suggestion for the implementation of a “soft cap” limit of £100 per month on deposits. According to them, this amount represents the sum of what gamblers spend but it also introduces a “socially acceptable” spending limit per threshold. Such limit ensures that spending on gambling does not exceed poverty thresholds for lower income households, says the report.

In other words, 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,

specifies the report

Proposed Changes in Terms of Licensing, Tax, and Regulatory Framework for Gambling

When it comes to gambling licenses, the report suggested the implementation of mandatory kitemarks for all licensed operators. However in the event of breaching the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) the report suggests the removal of the kitemark. The report also urges for the discontinuing of the “white label” scheme as well as more transparency when it comes to regulatory sanctions, which is similar to methods implemented in other sectors.

Focusing on gambling taxes, the report proposes the introduction of tax incentives for companies which have: “established a sufficient amount of their activities onshore.” Moreover, the report recommends a review of all gambling taxation since the 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act by the Government.

In terms of the regulatory framework, the authors of the report suggest replacing of the “existing tripartite” model with a “Gambling Quartet.” This change suggests the replacing of the Gambling Commission by a Gambling Licensing Authority. Furthermore, the report outlines the creation of a new Gambling Ombudsman.

On the other hand the NHS would be responsible for Research, Education and Treatment through a statutory levy, suggests the report. Last but not least, the report proposes that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) would be responsible for overseeing advertising, the Lottery as well as cultural and sports events related to gambling.

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