by Mateusz Mazur

Last update: 23.02.2024 16:40

New Online Slot Game Stake Limits Set to Safeguard Gamers

The UK government has taken a significant step towards enhancing the safety of online gambling by announcing the introduction of stake limits for online slot games, set to take effect in September.

This landmark regulation aims to mitigate gambling harms, particularly among young adults, by setting a maximum stake of £2 for individuals aged 18 to 24 and £5 for those 25 and over.

Addressing the Risks of Online Slots

Online slot games, known for their high addiction potential, have been identified as a major concern due to their association with significant financial losses and extended gaming sessions. The introduction of these stake limits marks the first time such regulations have been applied to online slots, aligning them more closely with the stake restrictions present in land-based casinos.

Acknowledging the heightened vulnerability of young adults to gambling-related harms, the government has opted for a more stringent £2 stake limit for this age group. This decision is grounded in evidence suggesting that young adults are particularly at risk due to factors such as lower disposable income, ongoing neurological development, and the challenges of managing finances for the first time.

Consultation and Industry Response

Following a comprehensive 10-week consultation, the majority of respondents, including industry professionals, academics, and treatment providers, supported the proposal for statutory limits. Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew emphasized the need for these measures, citing the high problem gambling rates associated with online slots and the particular vulnerability of young adults.

GambleAware, a leading charity committed to preventing gambling harm, has welcomed the government’s initiative, particularly the focus on protecting young people.

CEO Zoë Osmond highlighted the concerning trend of increased gambling harm among young adults and the high-risk nature of online slots. “We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce lower online stake limits for under 25s as an important mechanism to protect young people. Our research shows a concerning trend with this age group experiencing an increase in harm arising from gambling and online slots are very high-risk products.

As we continue our work to tackle this growing public health issue, we will collaborate with the Government and others across the gambling harms sector to ensure there are no missed opportunities when it comes to the introduction of robust preventative measures, including new regulations such as these.”

The new stake limits will be implemented through secondary legislation and will include a phased compliance period for operators. This measure is part of a broader suite of reforms outlined in the government’s white paper aimed at modernizing the gambling sector and enhancing player protection, including a statutory levy for research and treatment and financial risk checks to prevent significant losses.

Industry Comments

Commenting on the new limits, Ian Perrygrove, kwiff CRO told us: “The British government finally released the results of the consultation on spin limits for online slots, something we’ve long known about, and kwiff has used that time wisely to prepare.

We all know that any kind of change will have wider consequences than may be seen at first glance, and the advance preparation work has helped with that. For example, players’ stake levels and stake changes are primary metrics for identifying players at risk. Now that stakes will have significantly smaller variations, the industry’s modelling and customer interaction processes will need to adapt accordingly.

I know this, and all the other knock-on consequences, have been well considered by the Government and the Gambling Commission, and so we will soon receive the full guidance to help us with the final touches. The team at kwiff is ready to embrace this change and to ensure our players have a supercharged experience, but at the new stake limit!”

Our Comment on the Article

The UK government’s decision to introduce online slot game stake limits is a commendable move towards safeguarding vulnerable players and addressing the growing concerns around online gambling addiction.

By targeting high-risk gaming activities and providing additional protections for young adults, these measures represent a balanced approach to regulation that respects the rights of individuals while prioritizing their welfare. As the gambling landscape continues to evolve, it is imperative that regulations adapt to ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment for all.

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