What do the new UK gambling laws mean for me?
are a constantly evolving fact of life, as society changes and new
technology is created the law needs to keep up. This means that nearly
every industry will have new standards and requirements being imposed
upon it on a regular basis and the gambling industry is no
fact, you could probably argue that besides alcohol and tobacco, the
gambling industry has the strictest regulations of all the major
industries. The law in the United Kingdom has undergone a few changes
in recent years, including changes such as when adverts can be
displayed on television and how to phrase casino bonus offers for maximum transparency.
Recently, there’s been a movement to adjust the maximum stake permitted on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) which recently came into force.
This most recent move is likely to have an impact on betting shops as
the reduced rate will have an effect on how they decide to implement
FOBTs in the future.
In addition, there’s a discussion about
banning advertising during daytime TV and also to ban gambling online
with a credit card. If you’re a regular gambler then this adjustment to
the law may well affect you. Here are a few of the things to look out
exactly a surprise but now that the maximum stake on a FOBT is reduced,
it’s less likely that bookies will keep the units. At the moment, the
maximum number of terminals that are allowed on the shop floor is four,
but with a heavily reduced maximum stake this may be halved or even
taken down to one. This will only really affect you if you’re a regular
user of the FOBTs, but some of the other potential changes may have a
greater effect on your day to day life.
to the bookmakers themselves, a slash in the maximum stake from £100 to
£2 would mean the loss of 15,000-20,000 jobs and cost the Treasury £1 billion in tax.
This may also mean a number of shops being forced to close and limit
the ability to place bets in person. Luckily, most bookmakers now run
online sportsbooks and casinos so punters will still be able to utilise
such a service, but the closing of shops implies a fairly heavy hit to
their profits. This is probably due to the fact that FOBTs make up
around 50% of a bookmaker’s total income and the loss of this income
would have a profound effect on how feasible it would be for the
company to continue to operate in its current format. William Hill has
even expressed fears that they would be at risk of a takeover if the maximum stake is reduced.
the ban of daytime adverts comes to pass, then it’s quite likely that
you won’t be seeing as many gambling adverts on television. This one’s
a little different as technically gambling adverts already have to be
after the watershed, with the sole exception to this rule being during
sporting events (which are a special case as bookmakers offer services
specifically related to a game as it’s being played) and the major
affect would be a reduction in brand awareness. Additionally, with the
goal being ensuring that children and vulnerable individuals are kept
away from gambling brands, there have been calls for bookmakers to be
banned from sponsoring football teams.
More risk of fraud
rationale behind the credit card ban is a simple one, if you can’t use
your credit card then you have to use money you have readily available,
i.e. a debit card. But this, in turn, leads to a fairly major increase
in risk as it’s far more difficult to claim back fraud on a debit card
compared a credit card as this article explains.
While this should hopefully not have a detrimental effect on your
finances if you’re playing at an online casino, it is worth mentioning
that the increased risk could lead to disaster.
How likely is it that the new laws are going to made into legislation?
TV Advertising and Credit Card regulations are both recommendations at
the moment, but the FOBT legislation has recently been passed through
the House of Commons. Luckily for the bookmakers, America recently
passed legislation of their own that will allow them to legalise sports betting
in different states besides Las Vegas – a move that lead to an increase
in stocks for established bookmakers in the UK which may help them
weather any reduction to their profits from the new rate for FOBTs.
What effect a change in the laws for advertising and credit card use
would have, only time will tell.