Call for £2 Stake Cut on Online Slot Machines in UK!



Staff member
May 3, 2008
UK Cross-Party MPs Request for a £2 Stake Cut to Be Introduced on Online Slots, Too

You probably remember the chaos caused by the fixed-odds betting machines stake cut at the beginning of 2019?

Giant land-based gambling operators started reporting revenue loss and shop closures. Small companies lost all the hopes. And now, it looks like the MPs are going after the online gambling operators, due to several studies made on the problem gamblers situation.

Now, the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group has called for a £2 stake cut on online slot machines, too, in the hopes and efforts to mitigate the risks associated with gambling overall.

A Call for a £2 Stake Cut on Online Slot Machines

The MPs have considered the six-month review into the impacts of problem gambling, stressing that further action should come from the UK Gambling Commission and the Government's part to combat the issue.

The GRH APPG cross-party argued that there was no reason for online slot machines to have stakes above the £2 limit which was imposed on FOBTs, highlighting the disparity in stake, content and deposit limits control between offline and online slot games.

The evidence to support their request came from academics, banks, problem gamblers, charities and online gambling operators, among others. The Chairman Carolyn Harris MP said that the report highlighted the urgent need for a detailed review of the regulation of online gambling. As a major step forward in reducing gambling-related harms was a stake and prize cut on online casino games, too, the MP said.

Harris heavily criticised the UK Gambling Commission, emphasizing that it was not clear at all why the UKGC was not looking at the matter with urgency when the regulation of all forms of gambling must be appropriate and consistent. The MP said that it was an abdication of the Commission's responsibility as a gambling regulator to allow high stakes on online slots. She continued urging the Government to review the provision of research, education and treatment sector. She said that GambleAware was not doing its job effectively and that’s why it should immediately be brought into a public health setting.

Among the other recommendations stated in the review, the GRH APPG party called operators to sign its Charter for Regulatory Reform and support the proposals. The group also emphasized an urgent need for the credit cards ban and addressed the VIP accounts and Loyalty Programs available at online casinos. An investigation into non-disclosure agreements was suggested, too. Naturally, it also highlighted how important it was for operators to improve their measures to protect at-risk gamblers and the vulnerable.

As the Vice-Chair Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith wrapped it up, it was outrageous how players were still able to gamble with high stakes online using credit cards and how operators were still able to continue offering special perks to those vulnerable. The other Vice-Chair Ronnie Cowan MP concluded that the NDAs to cover up the operator’s wrongdoings which involve extracting as much money as possible from vulnerable gamblers could not continue to happen. Radical actions must be taken to reduce gambling-related harm, said Cowan.

The GRH APPG group confirmed that it was yet to meet with a representative from the UK Gambling Commission and the new Gambling Minister to discuss solutions. It also confirmed that only after its final hearings will it publish its full report on the situation and future plans.

Operators Received Another Blow

As soon as the news about the MPs looking for stricter online gambling regulations and stake cuts went viral, UK gambling companies lost close to £1.2 billion in value.

According to the UK Gambling Commission’s calculations, a third of these firm’s income comes from online slots. If the stake limits were to include other online casino games such as the “high-roller” games like roulette, baccarat and blackjack, where stakes can reach £100 or more, it would be much worse for the operators.

So far, 888 has reported that it received the hardest blow after it had lost 14% of its value in a single day, which cut its market value by £91 million! In terms of money, GVC suffered the toughest hit, losing close to £547 in value, with a 10.5% fall. The fall even overshadowed Ladbroke's owner's news of a new chairman.

William Hill, who had previously reported great revenue loss from the FOBTs stake cut, now registered a £230 million decline, while Flutter Entertainment £217 million. Gamesys, an online slot developer, on the other hand, lost £78 million.

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