UK campaigners push for £2 stake limit on online slots

The Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (GRH APPG) has requested that a £2 limit is introduced on all online slot machine games, similar to the maximum stake limit introduced for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Their request to slash the stakes follows on a six-month review into the impacts of problem gambling, with the group underlining that further action from the Government and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is necessary to combat the issue.

Several months ago, the British Government finally implemented the new maximum betting stakes for FOBTs, slashing the stakes from £100 to £2. The new legislation and maximum bet rules, however, apply only for the retail sector, so online betting sites continued operating as they used to do before the changes.

Now, the above-mentioned parliamentary group suggested that gambling operators are still taking advantage of vulnerable British gamblers. In its interim report, the group argues that there is no justification for having slot machine-style games online with staking levels above £2 and that they should be brought in line with land-based venues.

The group also see an urgent need to ban the use of credit cards to gamble online as well as the need to introduce improved affordability checks and that banks be given an increased role in this area.

Due to the political context, GRH APPG is yet to meet with the new Gambling Minister or any representative from the Gambling Commission. The group has confirmed that it will publish its full report after its final hearings.

The last few years have seen rising problem gambling rates across the country. Currently, there are about 430,000 gambling addicts in the UK, including 55,000 children. According to recent data, the gambling “epidemic” costs local taxpayers up to £1.2 billion on an annual basis.

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