As announced earlier this year, the maximum stakes on FOBTs all across the UK has been reduced from £100 to £2 per spin; the new regulation came into effect from Monday. The move aims at protecting problem gamblers and the vulnerable. The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) is strict with the new regulation and has warned bookmakers who do not comply with the reduced stake limits.
Chief executive, UKGC, Neil McArthur, said: “We have been closely monitoring operators’ plans to manage the implementation of the stake cut and we will continue to watch very carefully to ensure that any changes and developments to these products are done with a focus on customer safety.
“Together with Government and the industry we must continue our ongoing work to make the whole industry safer – this includes continuing to make progress with making other products safer, as customers may move to gamble in other ways following the stake cut – including online, mobile and on the high street. It’s imperative that operators invest in and use data, technology and measures to identify harmful play and can step in to protect players when needed. They should be innovating to protect their customers, as much as they do to make a profit.”
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, said, “Reducing the potential loss per spin from £100 to £2 is a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable people. The Government’s actions and ambitions stretch much further and we are looking at further treatment of those who have suffered from gambling-related harm, whether gambling on credit should be limited and considering what actions are necessary to tackle problem gambling online.”
The reduced maximum stakes at FOBTs is a step towards protecting the players and the Gambling Commission has long been discussing the measures to provide enhanced protection to those with problem gambling.
However, some reports studying the effect of new regulation shows that the reduced stakes will not impact as much as it is being estimated.
The Commission is also exploring new measures to provide additional protection to players. The UKGC may bring in new identity and age check rules in May. This is to make sure that those below the legal age are not able to access what is mean to be adult entertainment.