The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced a series of new regulations to the UK gambling market. Gambling operators must ensure that the required conditions are met by 31 October 2021.
The new measures include:
- Removal of autoplay feature from all online slot machines.
- Removal of features that speed up play or give the illusion of control.
- Sounds or images which give the impression of a win when the return is equal or below the stake will be banned.
- Reversal of withdrawal will also be banned.
- Operators must display to the player the total losses or winnings as well as the time played during each session.
Failure to implement the above measures in the required time frame will see operators face harsh fines from the UKGC.
The Expected Affect on Gambling Industry Profits
The new regulations, which have been implemented to increase players safety, are certainly expected to have a negative affect on operator profits.
The total gross gambling yield (GGY) of the gambling industry in Great Britain between April 2019 – March 2020 was £14.2bn. This was a slight decrease of 0.6% from the previous year. Candid Gambling foresees that the removal of the autoplay feature will further decrease revenues of slot sites and online casinos.
Autoplay allows players to play multiple slots at once with ease. It is thought that slot machines account for as much as 75 to 85 percent of casino revenues. Online slots are currently set up to make losses feel like wins – the new regulations will stop this from occurring.
Operators have not complained too much about the new regulations. In fact, many believe that these regulation should have been implemented years ago.
4% of Revenue ComesFrom High Risk Players
Kindred, one of the world largest betting firms announced yesterday that 4% of its total revenue was derived from problem gamblers or ‘high-risk players.
This suggests that Kindred took around £45m from gamblers who were considered high-risk.
Kindred are the only group in the gambling sector to release numbers on problem gamblers.
“We’re not putting this out as a claim of triumph but to be open and transparent,” said Neil Banbury, the general manager of Kindred UK.
UK Gambling Act Review Looms
Kindred’s disclosure comes as the debate continues in the UK over the upcoming review of the gambling laws in the country.
The government issued a call for evidence in December 2020 from operators, trade bodies and campaigners. This call for evidence is due to end on arch 31st with any new regulations to be enacted in early 2022.
Candid Gambling expect to see a crackdown on advertising. Operators may also see limits on the amount gamblers are allowed to spend in one go. Currently, gamblers are able to bet up to £500 on a single spin of an online slot machine.
Betting groups are doing their upmost to persuade politicians against restrictive rules. Flutter Entertainment, the group behind Paddy Power and Sky Bet appointed former MP Tom Watson as their special advisor. Watson has been known as one of Westminster’s largest advocators for safe and responsible gambling.
Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Bwin announced that they had established a “players panel” from its customer base which would gambling with its shareholders and the media.
Gambling companies have also been quick to highlight the growing number of black-market betting websites in the UK. They have warned that if gambling restrictions become stricter, then players will instead head to black-market sites where there are little restrictions.
Black-market sites do not come under the jurisdiction of the UKGC which means players will not be protected. IN addition, these sites will also pose a risk to anti-money laundering laws and tax collection.