Law and Politics
News of impending changes to UK gambling laws has been lacking in recent months, but sources close to the government say VIP programs and betting limits will be lowered.
The “main source” told the Mail on Sunday that some changes to the gambling law have already been unofficially accepted, although it is important to stress that no official announcement has been made at this point.
The anonymous national newspaper insider said there would be a dramatic reduction in the amount customers can bet online.
Stricter restrictions are likely
The source reportedly told the Mail on Sunday that it was “very likely” that the maximum stake for online slots would be aligned with current FOBT laws.
Those following recent changes to UK gambling laws will know that the government introduced a limit of £ 2 for live betting terminals in 2019. This would mean players could only wager a maximum of 2 £ per spin on online slots. The other major change that could affect the big players is the ban on VIP programs.
The Mail on Sunday article does not define what this means by “VIP programs,” but further investigation suggests that it may apply to loyalty programs that reward players who lose large sums of money. However, it is possible that the ban will extend to loyalty programs in general. If so, it may end all cashback incentives and VIP bonuses.
Rumors of the changes target online casinos by and large, although a ban on VIP programs could impact poker sites. Rakeback programs do not necessarily reward players who have lost money. Instead, points are earned based on a player’s rake contributions.
But, government ministers may not be aware of these nuances. Therefore, any ban on VIP programs could result in a ban on rakeback at UK online poker sites.
UK gambling law overhaul could hurt poker players
CardsChat has reached out to some of the UK’s major operators for comment, but due to the proposed changes which are only hearsay at the moment, no one is ready to speculate on the possible ramifications without having more information.
The only thing we know is that changes are coming. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said last year he wanted UK gambling laws to be adapted to the digital age, and he launched a review of the 2005 Gaming Law as a result of this comment.
A call for evidence followed and responses from ministers, industry insiders and members of the public were gathered. The submission period ended in March and the evidence has been reviewed since then. But, with COVID-19 putting the majority of political issues on the back burner over the past 16 months, no official decision has yet been made.