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UK Government Introduces Safer Limits for Online Slot Games

UK Government Introduces Safer Limits for Online Slot Games

Safer Spinning: UK Govt Caps Online Slot Stakes to Protect Players 

Are the days of devastating, life-changing losses from sky-high stakes on online slot games coming to an end? In a bid to minimise harm and keep the gaming experience enjoyable, the UK Government is implementing stake limits of £2 for under-25s and £5 for those over 25 with effect from September 2024.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is looking to minimise the potential for significant harm (both financial and emotional) associated with online slots. Let’s take a closer look.

Protecting the Next Generation of Slots Fans

Playing within your means and knowing how and when to stop is the crux of an enjoyable gaming experience. But there’s a darker side to online slot games for some – their addictive nature.

Which is why the government is taking steps to safeguard young adults, the demographic with the highest average problem gambling score of any age group. By addressing the vulnerabilities of this age group and limiting stakes, the government is aiming to ensure that playing online slots doesn’t come at a damaging price. 

On the need for new measure, Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew states:

“Although millions of people gamble safely every single day, the evidence shows that there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games […] so this announcement will level the playing field with the land-based sector and is the next step in a host of measures being introduced this year that will protect people from gambling harms.”

There’s currently no stake limit per spin on online slots. However, since 2019, there’s been a £2 limit on stakes (down from £100) on equivalent machines in betting shops, known as fixed-odds betting terminals. And the new limit matches the maximum on land-based fruit machines in casinos and other licensed premises –

Welcoming Safer Spins 

Gambling charity GambleAware, which works to reduce harm and improve players’ well-being, accepts the lower stake limits, with chief exec Zoe Osmond sharing: 

“Our research shows a concerning trend with this age group experiencing an increase in harm arising from gambling and online slots are very high-risk products.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce lower online stake limits for under-25s as an important mechanism to protect young people.”

But Could More Be Done?

To some, these new regulations don’t go far enough. 

“The £2 limit for under-25s is a step in the right direction, but £5 for over-25s is another missed opportunity to stop the harm to millions and the devastation caused by gambling suicides.” says Charles Ritchie, co-founder of Gambling with Lives, who goes on to suggest changes to online slot games’ functionality such as slower spin speeds.

Ready, Set, Spin!

So what will the future hold for online slot enthusiasts? Will we still see big wins, like the player who scooped a €3.7 million Wowpot! Jackpot? With the new stake limits due in September, players will soon find themselves navigating a new world of online slots sites. 

While Safeplay Tools offer support, stake limits could prove crucial for encouraging healthy gaming habits. We say – any steps that foster a safe environment for players, ensuring happy playing and prioritising well-being, gets a thumbs up.

Better change
Esther Barnett Rubin

Author

Esther Rubin With a career spanning TV production to writing taglines for pet food, Esther now finds time to write about online bingo and mobile gaming between school runs, crime documentaries, and spotting clever copy in ad campaigns. She works hard to ensure the bingo community is a fair and safe space that supports happy bingo experiences.

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