The way in which we gamble has changed dramatically in recent years. It may change again when the UK government announce their plans on amending the 2005 Gambling Act, but in what ways?
May is going to be a big month for the UK gambling industry. That’s when the government release a white paper on their plans for the gambling industry. It is not likely to be full of good news at a time when many are worried about how gambling is affecting those who indulge in it.
When critics of gambling talk about the current UK legislation, the word ‘outdated’ tends to get used a lot. There is a lot of truth in this accusation because so much has changed in the past 17 years. The arrival of 24/7 gambling on the internet and being able to play games and online slots on mobile phones has changed everything.
Gambling harm is another term that is used a lot these days. There are concerns about the number of players who become addicted to gambling. The way in which casino players are dealt with by companies is going to change.
The UK Gambling Commission have already been getting tough with online gambling companies. They are not afraid to issue millions of pounds worth of fines. Recently, 888 were fined over £9 million by the Gambling Commission. Camelot, who currently run the National Lottery have also been fined and they are going to lose their licence in 2024 unless winning an appeal against the recent decision that has been made. Allwyn are due to take over and that will see more changes.
One major concern is how people who are at risk or already suffering gambling harm are dealt with. This is where the Gambling Commission have been getting strict. If companies do not do enough to help those at risk, then fines will be issued, and licences possibly taken away. Later this year, new rules will be in place in this area that have to be followed.
Customers may find themselves having to give more details about how much they earn. Can they afford to be gambling the amounts that they do is the big question. Bank statements may have to be produced as part of an affordability check.
Showing the source of funds is also likely to be tightened up on. There is always the fear that gambling sites are being used for money-laundering purposes.
Those online casino players who are having problems may find they can’t receive emails about promotions. The provision of such information to at-risk players was one of the reasons that Camelot were fined over £3 million.
These moves are worrying many customers who object to such scrutiny over their gambling. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) are in favour of the government making changes. However, they believe that it is only a small percentage of players at online casinos who need help. The majority gamble in a responsible manner and the BGC don’t want to see the fun that they have been ruined by stricter regulation.
Other changes may see a further reduction in the number of gambling advertisements. Gambling in the UK has changed so much since the 2005 Gambling Act. It is clear there needs to be some changes and they look to be on the way.