You must have noticed that over the past few years, many small scale casinos have come up for UK players. Also with losing revenue on sports gambling to online alternatives, betting sites have turned to slots and other machines to fill the gap.
As the number of fixed odds terminals rose, so did the losses accumulated by punters. By 2017, these machines were causing Britishers to incur losses of almost £2bn per year, and stories were emerging all the time in media about how “addictive” they could be. Because of this, the government has stepped in to lower the maximum amount individuals can stake on a fixed odds terminal from £100 to £2 – and many betting sites claim that this will throw them into poverty.
The affect of such gambling reforms on the international online market, where UK operators are major players can be a game changer for both online casinos and punters.
The key thing to know is that changes to fixed odds terminals are being coupled with changes to the regulation of online casinos, who will now have to take more care to verify the ages of players, among a number of other new regulation in taxes and marketing laws.
They may also be subject to “affordability checks” to ensure that individual players can afford the bets they make. Finally, taxes on online casinos will be increased via the “Remote Gaming Duty”.
For responsible online operators, none of this is revolutionary. Also it would not stop them expanding their global reach. What it means is that online gaming is maturing and being properly regulated. The kind of casinos will thrive in this new environment will be of course reputed UK brand casinos. Industry leaders like 32Red, 888 Casino and online versions of major chains like William Hill are well-placed to adapt to an era of heightened scrutiny on the gambling sector. Also, new innovative online casinos as Dreamz.com, Playojo.com among a few other, that brings something new to the table, will have a greater chance compared to many other sites in this tougher times when the gambling regulation is getting stricter.
These casino giants already have the infrastructure in place to manage customer relationships and implement limits, and they have a strong reputation among players. So they should do well, regardless of bet limits or the need to monitor problem gamblers. On the other hand, larger companies usually take longer time to adjust to modernisation and new updates, so it’s crucial to get things right in time if they are to stay out of big fines.
The new gambling regulations
New regulations aimed at ensuring online operators offer all consumers in Britain the same tools to monitor their gambling have been introduced.
Following a consultation earlier this year, new measures will enhance protections in place by helping consumers make informed decisions about their online gambling activity.
The new requirements mean remote operators must:
- Ensure players are able to directly access 3 months’ worth of account and gambling information, with a minimum period of 12 months available on request
- Ensure account and gambling history provides easy to understand totals for a defined period (for example, the ability to be able to view transaction history for the previous two months)
- Give players access to information about their net deposits (ie the running total of all deposits minus the sum of all withdrawals)
Allow players to set financial limits across their entire gambling account as well as individual games.
Sharon McNair, programme director at the Gambling Commission said: “Players must be able to make informed decisions about their online gambling activity.
“The findings of our recent consultation indicate that there are differences in approach amongst licensees in relation to the level of information available to their consumers and the ease by which that information is accessible. The new requirements seek to address this and ensure greater consistency in the information available to consumers regardless of who they choose to gamble with.
“Gambling operators must see beyond the bottom line, and ensure both new and existing gambling products are effectively managing the risks to the licensing objectives, keeping gambling safe and fair for all.”
Mrs McNair added: “Innovation and technological advancement continues to drive growth in the £4.5billion a year online gambling market. We are seeing operators developing new gambling products and technologies every day – something that it is vital to the further advancement of the sector.
“But as the industry transforms, operators are reminded that we too will continue to adapt our regulation to raise standards across all gambling sectors and enhance the protections available for consumers.”.
One thing is certain, much will change in the online gambling business in UK the coming years and it will be interesting to see what impact it will make on the companies in the gambling sector. (with inputs from standardmedia.co.ke)