The government white paper on gambling reforms titled “High stakes: gambling reform for the digital age” has been published.
The white paper has been postponed multiple times but includes proposed affordability checks, limits on online casino games and a mandatory levy on gambling company revenues. The recommendations will now be passed to the Gambling Commission for consulting but are scheduled to go into force in the summer of 2024.
The affordability check proposals have garnered the most attention as the government intends on blocking customers from betting if they are losing too much in a short amount of time, are in financial difficulties or are consistently losing money over an extended period of time.
The government said online slot machines were a particularly high-risk product, associated with large losses.
The white paper proposes a consultation on stake limits of between £2 and £15 per spin for online slots machines.
However, the government also suggested lower limits and greater protections for 18 to 24-year-olds, who "may be a particularly vulnerable cohort".
The consultation on limits for younger gamblers will include options of a £2 stake limit per spin, a £4 stake limit per spin, or an approach based on individual risk.
Some gambling firms including Flutter, which owns Paddy Power, SkyBet and Betfair, imposed slot limits of £10 from September 2021.
Affordability checks will only kick in if someone loses £1,000 in 24 hours and are still being consulted on.
The white paper comes two weeks after Premier League clubs agreed to no longer use gambling companies as shirt sponsors from the 2026/27 season.
Also the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has said that it welcomed the long-awaited publication of the government’s white paper on reforms to gambling regulation and that it would “work tirelessly to deliver a secure future for the sport”, amid concern that a predicted loss between £8.4m and £14.9m annually as a result of “affordability checks” on punters could be “an underestimate”.
You can access the white paper here.