When the UK government announced plans to review the Gambling Act 2005 way back in 2020, the gambling industry awaited with bated breath. However, the review has gone through delay after delay, and there is still no clear date for its publication.
Naturally, there has been much speculation and deliberation about the contents of the review and what it could mean for the industry. Could the Gambling Act review impact UK live casino regulations? Let’s find out.
What’s Happening with the Review?
A review of the Gambling Act 2005 was pledged by the UK government in 2020, with the announcement backed and supported by various campaigners who were demanding industry reform.
The review was initially expected to take place at the end of 2020, but managerial changes at the Gambling Commission pushed this date into 2021. The review was then delayed once more due to a parliamentary reshuffle, and then again due to parliamentary turmoil which saw both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Gambling Minister Chris Philp resign. Since then, the chaos caused by the tenure of Liz Truss and the appointment of Rishi Sunak delayed the review further.
What will be in the review and how will it affect UK live casino regulations? Find out below.
What will be in the Review?
The exact contents and details of the review have been subject to an enormous amount of speculation. Operators and players alike are desperate to find out what kind of changes it could bring about, for UK live casino regulations and beyond.
Player protection is to be at the heart of the review, as pressure from campaigners to protect
vulnerable players mounts. Some of the changes thought to be under consideration include:
- Stake limits for online games
- Deposit limits
- Affordability checks
- Stricter testing protocols for new games and products
- Gambling sports advertising bans
- Powers to tackle parallel markets
- Legal support for players
- Additional funding for addiction treatment
- VIP programs
Many of these changes are designed to combat the harms caused by fixed odds betting terminals, but the proposed reviews are broad enough that the entire gambling industry will likely be impacted, and we could see significant changes to UK live casino regulations.
How will this Affect UK Live Casino Regulations?
Live dealer casino games like live roulette and live blackjack have taken off in recent years. They offer players a highly immersive and engaging gaming experience, more akin to a real-life casino rather than a digital recreation.
The impeding Gambling Act review could have a serious effect on UK live casino regulations. Of the proposed changes, affordability checks, deposit limits, and a review of VIP programs could have implications for UK live casino regulations.
Affordability checks have been a focal point of the review and have been the subject of much controversy. Affordability checks are designed to ensure people aren’t gambling beyond their means. Operators will have to conduct financial reviews of players to safeguard them and ensure they aren’t wagering more than they can afford.
A YouGov study has revealed that just 14% of players would be willing to submit the documentation necessary for an affordability check, which illustrates the public mood surrounding the proposed change.
Affordability checks could likely tie into new laws that define deposit limits, where players are only permitted to deposit a certain amount of cash per month. According to research conducted by the Social Market Foundation, operators should implement a ‘soft cap’ of £100, a figure that reflects average income, living standards, and leisure expenditure.
Many live casinos also offer VIP programs and special offers for loyal players, initiatives which are likely to be looked at under the Gambling Act review. While specific details about what this could entail are still unclear, it’s thought the review will make allowances for legislative flexibility between casual players and high rollers, which would be a welcome inclusion for live casinos.
Specific details about the review are still unclear, but operators must be prepared for changes to UK live casino regulations. Failure to do so could leave them in breach of new laws, which could have serious financial and legal repercussions.
When can we Expect the Review?
The review has been in the works for a number of years, with the announcement of a White Paper seeing several delays for a host of different reasons. New Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer had indicated that the review would be published by Easter, but that evidently hasn’t happened.
Regardless, the review is going to shake up the industry and will have implications for UK live casino regulations and beyond. Operators must be prepared and ready for change if they want to be in line with new compliance regulations.
New UK live casino regulations are set to arrive any day, which means it is essential that operators have a strategy in place to meet new rules and laws. Making changes ahead of time is key, this way you can ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to your staff and your players.