It has been said that the UK government will be tightening up gambling websites. It is to protect vulnerable people from gambling addiction and to stop children from accessing these sites. The new rules took effect in early 2019.
The new changes include :
- Putting age verification checks on all gambling websites.
- Stopping unlicensed operators from advertising their services anywhere other than land-based betting shops or casinos.
- Banning under 18s from registering with any online operator unless they have parental permission.
This blog post highlights what these changes could mean for gamblers in the UK and how they might broadly affect the industry.
How the Changes May Affect the Gambling Industry
By tightening the grip on gambling websites like Zamsino UK, customer numbers will likely fall overall. Because they are no longer accessible through any online platform, also many customers may give up trying to access them entirely.
However, this may help to reduce gambling addiction and stop underage people from accessing these sites. One of the main concerns about UK gambling, for example, is how many children are accessing these sites without their parents’ permission. It is because of the easy-to-use online interfaces that make it quick and simple to sign up anywhere in the world.
Online gambling is a huge industry, not only in the UK but worldwide. It is difficult to gather accurate data on just how much money these changes will cost the companies involved. However, much evidence suggests that many people can become addicted to this form of entertainment – causing issues for themselves and their families – if they are not careful.
It’s particularly dangerous when children are involved, as they do not have the faculties to make informed decisions about their gambling practices. Statistics from 2016 showed that around 430,000 young people in the UK are addicted to some form of gambling activity. It has hugely adverse effects on them individually, as well as on their families and friends.
An article by GamblersUSA shows the regulated states like New Jersey have been adversely affected. The article estimates that 4.2 million people in the UK have a serious gambling problem. This number has likely increased since then. By stopping gambling websites from being accessible to anyone except those who have registered and provided ID, it is hoped to reduce the number of people suffering from addiction. Many gambling companies like Zamsino already offer self-exclusion or addiction services, but this new legislation will force these measures even more stringent and widespread. And the exciting news is that it all comes at no cost to gamblers.
The changes introduced by the UK government in early 2019 have been subject to plenty of criticism from gambling operators so far. Some critics have attempted to say that this could push gamblers towards unregulated sites, which have no age verification checks. The government will hope that these measures are enough to keep everyone safe online while still encouraging people to gamble responsibly.
Why Are Licensed Pokers Outraged?
Obtaining a UK online poker license is quite complicated. Underworld operators, on the other hand, who are not licensed in the country, enthusiastically invite British gamblers. As a result, individuals who obtained a license honestly continue to ask the government the same queries: when will the state wipe out dishonest operators, causing honest operators to lose money? Instead of safeguarding licensed operators, the government continues to crack down on them, making the business of underworld poker rooms even more lucrative.
Companies involved in the gambling industry banded together and asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an inquiry. The latter compiled and presented an exclusive report on the total volume of the UK gaming black market. According to the report, about 260,000 UK individuals lost £1.5 billion in 2019 on illicit poker websites. And the number continues to rise. As a result, further tightening of gambling rules will only worsen the issue.
Will Anything Change?
Some opponents believe that because gambling has grown so integrated into British culture. It’s so tightly related to the enjoyment of sports and video games, not to mention the rebirth of bingo and the nation’s love affair with National Lottery tickets — the public has become blinded to its dangers.
It’s unquestionably essential to protect those vulnerable to addiction and exploitation. Still, as gaming investor Jason Ader pointed out in an interview with Casino.org News, a major clampdown in the UK will lead to more people betting offshore – into free and possibly dangerous markets.
In these uncertain times, it’s also essential to recall the industry’s importance to the UK economy. Compared to other countries’ gambling taxes, the UK fares quite well, collecting about £3 billion in 2018/19, according to Statista.
According to Moody, the UK economy is expected to contract by over 10% this year, and a Covid-related increase in national debt. How likely are the proposed gambling measures to be implemented?
What Could the Future Look Like?
The UKGC has been engaging with a ‘working group’ on consumer protection, including industry heavyweights like Scientific Gaming Corporation and Playtech and people who have personally experienced gambling-related suffering.
The suggestion includes:
- Slower spins to slow down the pace of the game
- Split-screen games are becoming outlawed.
- Per account, only one space is available at a time.
- Stakes and reward amounts are both limited.
- Games have time limits.
- Games are categorized based on how addictive they are.
- Moving away from “masking” sound effects and images
- Permanently prohibiting reverse withdrawals
Many times before, the gambling industry has demonstrated its ability to adapt and be flexible. Hence, instead of viewing it as the end of gambling in the UK, the business may see it as an opportunity to shed its negative connotations.
In conclusion, the UK is tightening up its regulations on gambling. Places like casinos and betting shops will have to have a special license to operate legally. It means that they’ll need to provide information about responsible gaming practices and guidelines for how much people can spend at any one time. The National Lottery has already been changed, so it no longer pays out over £1 million jackpots. With these changes coming into effect, you might want to be careful before making investments or purchases of this nature going forward!