New Online Slots Limits – £2 Maximum Stake Per Spin for Under 25s

new gambling limit for slotsThe UK Government has taken a decisive step to mitigate gambling risks by setting new stake limits for online slot games starting September. This initiative is a landmark in the regulation of online gambling, targeting specifically the protection of younger adults.

Key Points of the New Gambling Limits

new gambling limits points

  • New Stake Limits Introduced: Players aged 18 to 24 will have a maximum stake limit of £2 per spin for online slot games, while those aged 25 and over will be limited to £5 per spin.
  • Alignment with Land-based Casinos: The £5 gambling limit for a stake for adults aims to bring online slots in line with the gambling limits of land-based casino slot machines.
  • Evidence of Harm: Research indicates that online slots, which previously had no statutory gambling limits in UK, are highly addictive and can lead to significant financial losses and prolonged gambling sessions.

The Government’s decision is informed by data showing young adults are particularly susceptible to gambling harms, including higher instances of problem gambling and an increased risk of suicide linked to gambling activities.

Official Statements

Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew: “Although millions of people gamble safely every day, there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games. Young adults are more vulnerable to gambling-related harms, which is why we are taking steps to address these issues.”

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware: “We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce lower online stake limits for under 25s. This is an important mechanism to protect young people, as our research shows an increase in harm arising from gambling among this age group.”

Additional Measures

The regulation is part of a comprehensive strategy outlined in a white paper aimed at modernizing the gambling sector for the digital era. This includes a statutory levy for gambling harm research, prevention, and treatment, and financial risk checks to prevent catastrophic losses.

The new stake limits, which were established following a 10-week consultation that garnered broad support, are just one of several proposals designed to protect individuals from gambling-related harm while also ensuring the land-based gambling industry continues to thrive. Further responses to the white paper measures are anticipated soon, as the Gambling Commission and the Government refine their approach based on public and industry feedback.

Impact of New Online Gambling Limits on the Industry and Market

revenue lossThe government’s analysis forecasts a significant financial impact, projecting a £166.2 million ($210.7 million) reduction in gross gaming revenue (GGY) annually. This represents a 5.2% decrease in online slots GGY and a 2.6% fall in the overall remote GGY.

Business and Market Repercussions

  • Revenue Decline: The gambling sector is poised for a considerable decrease in revenue, especially in the highly lucrative online slots segment. This downturn reflects the government’s firm stance on reducing gambling harms, particularly among young adults.
  • Operational Costs: Gambling operators are facing imminent operational challenges. Implementing the new stake limits necessitates game development teams to test and deploy these restrictions across live games. The full extent of these costs will be detailed in a final stage impact assessment due later in the year.

Consultation Insights

  • The stake limit proposals garnered mixed reactions during the 10-week consultation period. Out of 98 responses, a significant portion advocated for the £2 limit for young adults, while opinions varied regarding the appropriate limit for older adults.
  • Despite divergent views, a substantial majority (60%) supported a £2 or lower stake limit for individuals aged 18 to 24. Conversely, a universal £2 limit for all adults was favored by 34% of respondents, highlighting a strong inclination towards more stringent controls across all age groups.

Projections on the Growth of Non-GamStop Casinos and No-Limit Bookmakers

With the UK’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) introducing stringent gambling limits on online slots, a consequential shift in the gambling landscape is anticipated. These regulations, while aimed at protecting vulnerable groups, especially young adults, might inadvertently fuel the growth of the market outside UKGC jurisdiction. These entities operate outside the UK regulatory framework, offering gambling services without the newly imposed restrictions.

Factors Influencing Growth

  • Seeking Fewer Restrictions: The new slots limits could drive a segment of gamblers to seek platforms where they can gamble with fewer restrictions. Non-GamStop casinos and no limit bookmakers, often licensed in jurisdictions with looser regulations, stand to benefit from this shift.
  • Technological Accessibility: The ease of accessing online gambling platforms means that those seeking to bypass Gamstop regulations can easily find some alternatives. This accessibility could contribute to their growth in the face of stricter UK laws.
  • Advertising and Promotions: Casinos without limits often employ aggressive marketing strategies, including lucrative bonuses and promotions, which can be attractive to gamblers affected by the new stake limits.