The Guardian: Government set to impose £2 online slot machine limit

The Guardian: Government set to impose £2 online slot machine limit

The Guardian: Government set to impose £2 online slot machine limit
The Guardian, a leading media outlet in the United Kingdom, and a long-time critic of the gambling status current quo, has revealed an exclusive piece of information according to which the UK government is set to indeed press on with a proposed change and introduce a £2 betting limit per round on online slots in the country. The news comes directly from sources close to the matter who shared the information with the publication. According to the media, the new change is expected to be officially announced on Friday, and it would apply to individuals under the age of 25, which makes sense as other jurisdictions in Europe have actively sought to protect younger and more impressionable consumers. Those under the age of 25 are in fact considered to be at-risk and more vulnerable than mature consumers since gambling-related harms usually begin at an earlier age and after a person has had extended exposure to gambling. This curb could help tackle serious societal issues in the country and placate gambling industry detractors who have long argued that the social cost of keeping betting limits unchanged was too high. An estimated 500 people take their lives in the UK because of severe gambling disorders that have to do with depression, severe indebtedness, and more. The limit is not exactly new. It has been vehemently debated in public and feared by some industry lobbyists while embraced by industry insiders. The measure has already been applied to fixed-odds betting terminals back in 2019, and a potential delay at the time even caused a minister to hand in her resignation in protest of delaying the implementation. The industry had mostly absorbed the change, but fears are now swirling that the betting limit could significantly depress revenue. In the meantime, The Guardian also reports that a £5 betting slot limit online will apply to everyone above the age of 25, meaning that slots will change profoundly for everyone involved. The Guardian also mentions that the government is actively seeking to evaluate the need for mandatory checks for gamblers who seem to be losing more, or as a blanket solution so that early prevention and intervention are administered. Advocates for safer gambling have already welcomed the news on a high note, arguing that if true, it’s a definitive step in the right direction. Gambling With Lives Founder Liz Ritchie had this to add: “The gambling industry may present this as harm to their profit margin but the real harm is to the millions trying to cope with addiction caused by toxic gambling products, and the terrible suffering of families bereaved by gambling suicide.” More news should be forthcoming shortly, but as things stand, the government may have finally decided to push through with a seminal change to the gambling framework in the country. Image credit: Unsplash.com

22 FEB 2024

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