What 2019 Has in Store for the Gambling Industry in the UK

the last couple of years have been a very dynamic period for the gaming industry in the United Kingdom. Several changes were proposed and implemented by the local gaming regulators in 2017 and 2018, within which the gambling operators also performed exceptionally. As of this writing, the gross gaming yield of the region’s gambling sector is estimated to be about £14 billion, with online gaming accounting for approximately £4.7 billion of the total amount.

The stable gambling revenue increase aside, the previous year also presented some challenges to the gaming operators. Some of the most significant issues came up due to concerns raised by the country’s legislators who realized that the overall great success that the gaming operators were basking in was at the expense of the gamblers, their families and the community as a whole.

In fact, the United Kingdom has been facing a serious crisis as a result of the constantly increasing participation in gambling activities which has, in turn, resulted in a significant increase in problem gambling rates. This largely motivated the decision by the country’s lawmakers to make a step towards amending the gambling laws in one way or the other.

The Changes

Naturally, a new year usually represents new beginnings and this was the case for the United kingdom’s gambling industry. Many of the bills that were expected to take effect in early 2019 are already being implemented.

One that is perhaps very controversial was the decision by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to slash the maximum the wagers allowed at fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. Until a short while ago, the authorities were working to make the transition easy for operators by providing them with the required delay which extended the implementation of certain measures to October 2019. This was, however, sparked massive outrage among several communities, anti-gambling lobbyists and even members of parliament. As such, the government was forced to stick to the initially-announced date for the implementation of the reduced stakes – that is April 2019.

Also in the works, is an increase in point-of-consumption tax – the 15 percent increase was originally introduced in 2014 as a way of discouraging British players from using foreign online casinos. Most operators have explained that the tax increase is too big for them to deal with but the government seems to be hell-bent on implementing it.

Finally, considering how lucrative the gambling market in the United States has gotten in the past year, especially after the country’s Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting, more UK-based operators are about to venture into the space through sponsorship and partnership deals.

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