Since the 2005 Gambling Act’s adoption, there has been no notable change in laws governing the gambling market in the United Kingdom. With the betting industry in Britain getting a bit out of control, according to some, there have been calls for more system regulations. Bettors have recently witnessed a major shift of attention towards regulating the gambling sector.
Addiction to Gambling is a Growing Phenomenon
From the time online gambling was approved in the early 2000s, the UK has experienced a surge of betting activities. iGaming industry leaders identified it as a potential market, leading to a scramble. It didn’t take long before the island became saturated with gambling operators resulting in fierce competition. While the multiple casino platforms give the punters advantage of picking games of their choice, it is challenging to pick the right platform.
The presence of numerous operators and unlimited gambling activities has caused a series of chain of reactions. For the past few months, the UK’s gambling sector has been hit by one scandal after another. The incidences range from money laundering to predatory practices, among other illegal activities. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) realized that things were getting out of hand when they found out that about 450,000 children are regular bettors.
Subsequently, the UKGC has created new gambling policies to curb illegal activities and protect the vulnerable society.
The New Gambling Policies
The UKGC has come up with strict measures in an attempt to solve what they believe are the major concerns. The new policies have placed more responsibilities on the service providers rather than on the players. This move has caused an uproar in the industry. The operators and the gaming providers complain that the measures have made the business world more restrictive.
Restriction on Credit Card Payment
One of the most significant changes is the abolishment of credit cards in gambling. Recent research showed that about 22% of Britain bettors use their credit cards to fund their gambling needs. This is problematic because it has led to many people accumulating debts and even losing their properties.
With this decision, the gambling commission hopes to help people recover from debts and engage in responsible gambling activities. The UKGC stated that its priority is to provide the best protection to consumers. Of course, the service providers are not happy about the decision. Since the policy came into effect in April 2020, the operators have reported a significant decrease in profits.
No More Underage Betting
With statistics recording underage gambling among children between 11 and 16 years, the UKGC had to think fast for a lasting solution. Gone are the days when anonymous gambling was allowed. Now, online casinos are required to verify consumers’ age manually. For this, the operators have to ask for identification, which is then approved by the compliance team.
This policy is more practical now that the platforms can only accept payment from cards bearing the same name as the account. Besides, the verification time has also been reduced to help with the immense workload.
How Will These Changes Affect the Gambling Market?
Although these policies are aimed at protecting players, they have met some criticisms. There are concerns that UKGC doesn’t evolve to match the changing technologically advanced market. The policies have also led to companies withdrawing completely from the UK markets. As a result, it has affected the user experience and made the UK consumers susceptible to unregulated offshore operators.
So, What’s Next?
The new regulations have significantly shifted the focus of gambling operators to ensure safe and responsible gambling. The new laws are huge, and it will take time for both customers and providers to adapt to them. The gambling commission is cracking the whip on those breaking the rules. Sources speculate that UKGC is working on new gambling laws regarding emerging technologies. As a player, pay attention to the UK’s gambling news for any additional regulations that may arise.