BGC throws support behind proposed £2 slot stake limit

BGC throws support behind proposed £2 slot stake limit

BGC throws support behind proposed £2 slot stake limit
The Betting and Gaming Council may have been faulted in the past for taking the unpopular view on gambling regulation, but the trade group has changed tact of late, increasingly seeing eye-to-eye with the government which has been designing one “industry-bashing” measures after the next. The latest is the decision to restrict the betting limit on online slots per round of play for individuals under the age of 21 to just £2. This move was first been reported by The Guardian, a local media publication, and now has been confirmed by the government, with the current limit of £100 to be consigned to history. Although the BGC has offered support for the measure, compared to its stance on fixed-odds betting terminals several years ago which also imposed a £2 stake limit, which the organization did not take as keenly to, the trade group also warns that moving forward the government should prioritize both protecting consumers and making sure that they stay in the regulated gambling market. Moreover, BGC CEO Michael Dugher said that the organization is prepared to assist the government in thrashing out the details. “The BGC supported the Government’s intention to reform stake limits, and we fully engaged in the consultation process and the discussions with Ministers that led to these proposals,” Dugher explained in a statement. The underlying concern remains that should consumers not be able to find sufficient and competitive options to explore on the locally regulated market, they may be tempted into seeking alternatives offshore. The offshore gambling market has continued to thrive despite the many viable alternatives closer to home. “We must avoid customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t tread carefully and get the balance of regulation right,” Dugher insisted. The UK government is also pushing ahead with the affordability checks pilot, which will have companies obligated to carry out financial checks on their customers to assess the risk of a person spending recklessly. This puts a greater onus on the industry, but it has been criticized by various bodies – BGC including – that affordability checks could lead to further channelization into the black market. Responsible gambling advocates have on the contrary argued that such measures could not come soon enough. Meanwhile, the UKGC has taken a cautionary but firm approach, agreeing to implement those checks for a higher spending limit, to begin with, but the pilot would allow the regulator to further calibrate the measures. Image credit: Unsplash.com

26 FEB 2024

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