Report: UK online slot stake limits to be set at £2 and £5

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The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will impose new stake limits for online slots later this week on Friday, according to a report from The Guardian.

A debate will also take place in the Parliament Petitions Committee next week on Monday regarding a petition relating to financial risk checks for gambling.

Financial risk checks and online slot stake limits were part of the proposed regulations for the UK gambling industry set out in the government’s white paper, published in April last year.

According to The Guardian, the DCMS will impose new stake limits for online slots on Friday, with a limit of £2 for under-25s and £5 for anyone 25 or over.

These are different limit figures than the ones suggested in the government’s consultation published in April last year of between £2 and £15.

The white paper noted that setting the limit at the range’s midpoint – £8.50 – would reportedly cost the gambling industry up to £185m. However, limits of £2 and £5 would cause a significantly higher cost for online casinos.

“I am pleased that the government has seen sense and opted for a £2 limit for people under 25,” noted Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who is also Chair of the APPG for Gambling Related Harm.

“There is, however, clear evidence that a £2 limit should be in place for everyone to prevent harm. The government has sided with the industry and should rethink.”

As previously stated, the UK Parliament’s Petitions Committee will also host a debate on February 26 at 4:30pm regarding a petition relating to financial risk checks for gambling.

Christina Rees MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, will open the committee debate. MPs from all parties can participate and the government will send a minister to respond.

The petition, which has more than 103,000 signatures, seeks to stop the implementation of betting affordability/financial risk checks.

“We want the Government to abandon the planned implementation of affordability checks for some people who want to place a bet,” the petition states.

“We believe such checks – which could include assessing whether people are ‘at risk of harm’ based on their postcode or job title – are inappropriate and discriminatory.”

The government issued a response to the petition on November 16, 2023, saying: “We are committed to a proportionate, frictionless system of financial risk checks, to protect those at risk of harm without over-regulating. The Gambling Commission will set out plans in due course.”