The United Kingdom government has finally released its long-awaited review of the current iGaming regulations. This is after the government announced the implementation of the “White Paper”, which will bring sweeping changes to the industry.
Under the new reforms, the government has introduced a 1% levy on industry revenue, affordability checks, and stake limits for slots. These updates will bring the industry on par with the current realities of online gambling.
The reform proposes the implementation of a statutory levy by the government to tackle problem gambling. In February 2022, the National Health Service cut off connections with responsible gaming charities due to a conflict of interest. However, no specific amount was mentioned, with the secretary for Culture, Media, and Sports instead deciding to initiate a consultation concerning the details of its plan.
Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, told the House of Commons that betting could harm individuals and that the government is modernizing its pre-smartphone regulations with a gambling White Paper to keep up with the digital era, as reported by The Guardian.
Under the White Paper proposals, anybody incurring a daily loss surpassing £125 will be examined to determine if they have been declared bankrupt or have any county court ruling against them. Open banking checks will also be available for those suffering from heavier losses of at least £1,000 daily to evaluate their income.
Below is the White Paper overview:
However, this review of the 2005 Gambling Act, initiated in 2020, is yet to be completed. Most of the measures are still under consultation, thus leading to a further delay. This update is coming as online gaming continues to increase in the country, accounting for more than half of the estimated £11 billion ($13.7 billion) yearly handle.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of Clean Up Gambling, told the Times of London:
“We welcome acknowledgement that gambling laws are out of date and there needs to be significant reform. It’s important the government gets details right on things like affordability checks and stake limits. The consultation needs to take all the evidence into account".