A report by a parliamentary group investigating gambling losses contains proposals that could significantly change the online gambling landscape in the United Kingdom.
The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm is the successor to the Parliamentary Group, which is responsible for achieving a reduction in maximum bets on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in UK betting shops. It was formed to investigate potential online gambling damage reported during the investigation of FOBTs.
After six months of public and private interviews, the group has just published its interim report (PDF). The report criticizes the lack of controls to prevent potential damage from online gambling in the UK, criticizes online gambling operators for exploiting the lack of controls and criticizes the UK Gambling Commission for continuing the situation.
Of the 28 recommendations made by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, five in particular could significantly change the online gambling landscape in the United Kingdom:
Limits On Amounts That Are Being Played In A Transaction
The Group believes that the amount that can be lost in a transaction is limited, which will also limit the damage these products cause; and while the report specifically mentions reducing the maximum bet on slots games (to $ 2 to match FOBTs), concerns are being expressed about players who “double up” to hunt down losses ( as in the martingale roulette betting system).
Applying limits to all forms of online gambling could have an impact on regulated online poker in the UK. It may not be possible in the future to play no limit or pot-limit cash games at regulated locations above a certain level of use or to participate in tournaments with buy-ins of more than (say) £ 10. The likely consequence would be to drive players to unregulated locations.
A Ban On Credit Card Deposits
In early 2018, the Citizens Advice Bureau banned credit card deposits in a report drawn up for the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). At the time, the British Gambling Commission said it was in favor of the ban, but nothing came of the proposal. Now, the report calls for immediate ban on credit card deposits.
The aim of the proposed ban is to stop problems that players owe on their credit cards to feed their addictions. If this recommendation is accepted, it should not have that much impact on online poker in the UK as online operators can accept money through a variety of banking methods. It will only make it more uncomfortable for problem gamblers to get their solution.
An Industry-wide System Of Affordability Reviews
This proposal calls on the online gambling industry to develop software that prevents a problem player from opening accounts with multiple operators if they can not afford to gamble. The report claims that average disposable income in the United Kingdom is $ 450 a month, so players wishing to deposit more than that should be asked to confirm that they can afford it comfortably.
The reason for the affordability checks is to prevent a problem player (say) $ 300 from one operator, $ 300 from a second operator, and another $ 300 from a third party operator to avoid checking his finances. The group proposes a “single sign-on” mechanism that would require players in the UK to use the same username and password for all gambling accounts.
A Limitation Of Bonuses, Incentives And Vip Accounts
A few years ago, a restriction on bonuses, incentives and VIP accounts would have a serious impact on uk poker players; but due to the way in which player paybacks have been reduced over time, it is seldom the case that players hunt poker points to reach the next level of status because the rewards are simply not worth it – even though there are bonus hunters could prevent new accounts from being opened. every three months.
This recommendation is more geared to online casinos that offer limited time bonuses with high rollover requirements or invitations to sports betting to qualify for a VIP account by playing a minimum amount each month. Of course, if this recommendation is accepted, there will be some fallout for online poker players, but the impact on financial benefits will be minimal.
Licensed Operators Should Withdraw From Unregulated Jurisdictions
This is the großegy thing that concerns online poker in the UK. This would mean that poker sites would either have to withdraw from “gray markets” (ie, Germany, Russia, Brazil, etc.) or withdraw from the UK market.
This referral virtually affects online poker site operating in the UK and, if adopted, British players would starve of liquidity. Websites like PokerStars, 888 Poker and Party Poker (which are present in the fenced EU market Spain, France and Portugal) may be able to include British players in their EU market, but this would depend on what other recommendations accepted (ie limits).
Even More Work Before Publication Of The Final Report
It has to be stressed that these recommendations have been made in an interim report and can be subject to change. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm has yet to hold public and private interviews with the DCMS, the Everest Poker Withdrawing Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority to determine their final recommendations.
However, given the way the Group has helped to reduce FOBT operations against the will of the gambling industry, it is likely that many of the recommendations in the interim report will be accepted to some extent. The final report will be released in the new year and its recommendations could change the landscape of online gambling in the UK by that time next year.