When it was first conceptualized the Gambling Act was meant to act as a wholistic cover to protect the gamblers in the United Kingdom. However, just like many other industries across the planet, the gambling sector has been evolving, something that has in one way or the other rendered the previous laws and measure incompatible, to say the least.
Perhaps one of the biggest developments in the United Kingdom’s gambling industry is the growth of online and mobile gambling. In essence, the advancement we have seen in web and mobile technologies have brought gambling right to the pockets and palms of millions of people. That said, the rules and regulations governing the industry also need to be updated.
Thankfully, the government of the United Kingdom has recently affirmed its commitment to reviewing and adjusting the Gambling Act. The goal of this is to ensure that the laws are alignment with all of the advancements that are characteristic of the “digital age.”
This initiative is already receiving a lot of backing including from the public most of whom believe that more robust regulation is the way to go. A recent poll conducted but Survation revealed that well over 50 percent of the country’s residents are for the idea of capping the stakes of online casino games and online slots at £5.
Looking at the current laws, it is quite clear that they are designed to put what are arguably rather harmful products with very high stakes into the hands of anyone with a smartphone. In fact, a good number of online casino games currently delivered on the internet have no stake limits.
To put this into perspective, online slots, which are some of the most popular forms of online gambling, generated a whopping £2.2 billion in 2019. This was significantly higher than what the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals recorded in the same year.
The coronavirus pandemic also seemed to elevate some concerns as there is significantly more traffic to online gambling sites due to the lockdowns. While this might seem like a new revenue source for the gaming operators and a massive source of taxes for the government, the biggest issue comes from the fact that 60 percent of online profits are from 5 percent of gamblers.
The review of the Gambling Act is certainly going to have to put all of these concerns into consideration while at the same time making the industry conducive for regulated operators. Still, as it stands, player protection especially in the online and mobile gambling spaces, are the key focus areas.