Even though gambling has been frowned upon over the years, UK legislators decided to regulate its gambling market and deploy its full potential. In 2005, UK lawmakers passed the so-called Gambling Act that has been the main piece of legislation governing the UK gambling industry for years. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was established under the Gambling Act 2005 and it was tasked with overseeing the proper implementation of the laws.
Changes to the Gambling Act Emerge on the Surface
The gambling industry throughout the UK has grown at an exponential level, attracting the attention of millions of Brits. According to statistics published by the UKGC, the gross gambling yield for the period from October 2018 to September 2019 amounts to over £14 billion. The figures revealed that the gambling industry in the UK keeps on expanding at an alarming rate, raising concerns about public health.
Despite the Commission’s efforts to reduce the number of people affected by gambling problems, industry experts believe that something has to change in the UK’s gambling regulatory framework. After all, the gambling law was enacted over a decade ago when the industry was still in its infancy. The advent of technologies provided people with easy access to a plethora of web-based casinos wherever they go.
UK to Overhaul Its Gambling Regulations
In 2020, the UKGC announced that it will collaborate with three working groups to facilitate the implementation of measures intended to reduce the rate of gambling problems. The first group has to figure out how to make gambling products safer.
The second group has to introduce changes to the gambling advertising regulations, and the third group has to propose amendments to the loyalty schemes to prevent regular players from developing gambling problems. In the lines below, we will discuss some of the latest changes of the UK casino industry.
Credit Cards Cannot Be Used for Casino Payments
Since April 2020, Brits are not allowed to use their credit cards to make deposits to online casinos or withdraw funds. The ban extends to payments through digital wallets. This means that you can not fund your e-wallet using your credit card provided that you intend to use it to play at an online casino.
Experts believe that the ban will significantly reduce gambling harm. In addition to that, it will protect casino fans from gambling with money they cannot afford to spend. The decision came shortly after research revealed that more than 20% of the people who use their credit cards to gamble have gambling problems.
Restrictions on High Value Customer Schemes
Another important change introduced in 2020 is related to the casino VIP schemes and loyalty programs. Virtual casinos are no longer allowed to offer VIP schemes to players under 25 years old. It is believed that such programs stimulate the exacerbation of gambling problems among the young population. Players who are eligible to be included in such loyalty schemes will be subject to rigorous checks of their gambling activity and the origin of the money they use to gamble with. Players who want to stay posted about the most recent legislative developments should consider visiting bestcasinosites.
New Rules to Prevent Underage Gambling
According to a UKGC report, almost 3% of the children between 11 and 15 years old can be classed as problem gamblers. That is why the Commission introduced strict measures aiming at preventing underage gambling. Under the new measures, operators have to perform electronic Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before allowing individuals to make a deposit. In addition to that, only verified players are allowed to access free-to-play games.
Measures to Make Online Slots Safer
Online slots have always been quite popular among casino fans as these games do not require some special skills. Many players keep on hitting the Spin button until they lose everything. Hence, the UKGC introduced a package of measures to prevent slot devotees from losing big money. Under the recently-introduced rules, slot spin speeds should not be quicker than 2.5 seconds. Autoplay mode and features that speed up the gameplay are strictly prohibited. The slot machines should not contain images and sounds that give a false sense of winning a profit.