News for Week 14
April 6, 2020
The stick might have found the spokes of the online casino wheel
In yet another attempt to safeguard the UK population from self-gambling harm. The regulatory body, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is looking into the online max stake. If you live or are somewhat active in some sort of betting in the UK, you know that the latest cut came on the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) down to £2. And now, the UKGC aim to look further into the possibility to do the same on the online portion as well. However, it’s all too soon to say if there will be any change to the current bet structure. But what is certain, the industry has already reacted on the far from fact situation.
What we know so far
We know that the UKGC is on a mission to clean up and streamline all gambling in the UK. Where a spokesperson from the UKGC relayed the following information. “We said last October that we would be looking at online stake limits as part of our ongoing work to reduce the risks of gambling-related harm. We will publish our assessment and next steps for online stakes and further protections later this year.” More accurate. It’s told that more precise information of findings and the possible knock-on effect will get published within 6 months. Which will get dissected by the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group. That was instrumental and the driving force for the FOBT stake cut.
After the news hit the press, some of the major bookmakers and online casino indicated a negative trend on the stock market. Where reports tell us that the recorded figures were around 5-8% down in general amongst all listed gambling firms. That culminated in around a £500 Million fall collectively. But once again, there is still not any final decision on the subject matter. And reaction may have come too soon by the industry? Whatever the case is. The story is far from over, and we will keep on reporting as more information get known.
Why is no one talking about it
That the age restrictions on the National Lottery and its products in the UK have more or less gone unnoticed in the press is quite astonishing. Is not UKGC’s one main goal to minimise the effect of early exposure to gambling. That they have pointed out multiple times and taken action on restrictions on the advertisement, for example, but yet, they allow 16 years’ old to utilise the National lottery. That yearly include around 650,000 “underage” players. That not only buy lottery tickets but also has the option to purchase scratch cards, and all online. So, in all honesty, the UKGC should first start with revisiting some of the more pressing matters than target a demographic that considers adults. That, in the end, is responsible for their actions, by definition.