The UK Government has published the long-awaited gambling white paper which sets out a number of proposals to reform gambling rules for the digital age. We have categorised the proposals into six key themes. To see more detail about the proposal, please click on the drop down boxes below.
- Affordability checks
- Online slots stake limits
- Lower affordability thresholds and stake limits for 18 - 24 year olds.
- Remove high risk features of online game design
- Introduce data sharing between online operators
- Improvements to player centric tools
- Review large prize draws and competitions
- Review of gambling incentives
- Improved safer gambling messaging
- End of Premier League shirt-front sponsorship
- Socially responsible sponsorship in eSports
- Use of advertising technology encouraged
- Statutory Levy introduced for operators
- Greater powers to tackle the black market
- Review Gambling Commission fees
- Start of Horserace Betting Levy Review
- Independent non-statutory ombudsman to provide further protection to consumers and require operators to pay redress to customers where they are found to have treated customers unfairly
- More casinos to be permitted up to 80 gambling machines and sports betting
- Reallocation of unimplemented 2005 casino licences
- Relaxation of 80/20 rule
- Review of cashless payments on gaming machines
- Review premises licence fees cap
- Credit permitted for non-UK residents
- Introduce a “Think 25 scheme” and test purchasing by small operators
- Review the minimum age of cash-payout machines
- Introduce consistent minimum age of 18 years across the gambling sector
- Stronger powers for licensing authorities in alcohol-based premises
- Commission Fees: DCMS will consult on increasing the fees payable to the Gambling Commission. The Government also intends to give the GC the ability to set its own fees (rather than changes requiring secondary legislation). Next steps: DCMS consultation in 2024
- Black Market: The Government intends to give the GC greater powers to combat the online gambling black market. Next steps: Legislation to be introduced when Parliamentary time allows.
- Statutory Levy: DCMS will introduce a statutory levy for operators to be collected by the Gambling Commission. Next steps: DCMS consultation on design and scope in summer 2023.
- Horserace Betting Levy: A review will start into the Horserace Betting Levy. Next steps: Stakeholder engagement, evidence gathering and analysis in spring and summer 2023.
- Ombudsman: The Government will establish an independent, non-statutory ombudsman to provide customers with appropriate redress for social responsibility and gambling harm complaints. If this is not successful, the government will legislate to create a statutory ombudsman. The Government intends the ombudsman to provide further protection to consumers and require operators to pay redress to customers where they are found to have treated customers unfairly. Next steps: ombudsman expected to be accepting complaints within a year, with the appointment process commencing in spring/summer 2023.
- Casinos: 1968 Act casinos will be permitted up to 80 gaming machines (subject to the space and machine/table ratio). A common machine/table ratio of 5:1 is proposed (an improvement for all but "Large" 2005 casinos), still subject to overall limits. All casinos will be permitted to offer sports betting, and a variety of RNG-games on electronic terminals. Next steps: DCMS consultation on outstanding issues in summer 2023
- Casino Licences: Potential reallocation of unimplemented 2005 casino licences, but no mention of 1968 Act licence portability.
- 80/20 Rule: Relaxation of "80/20" rule to allow a more balanced machine offer for bingo and arcades. Next steps: DCMS consultation in summer 2023.
- Cashless payments: There will be a consultation on cashless payments on gaming machines. Next steps: Consultation in summer 2023.
- Premises Licensing: There will be a review of the premises licence fees cap for local authorities and the of introduction cumulative impact assessments to address “clustering”. Next steps: DCMS consultation in summer 2023
- Credit for non-UK residents: The Government will permit casinos to offer credit to non-UK residents, subject to checks.
- Age limits: The Government will consult on increasing the minimum age for cash-payout slot machines to 18 years and introduce legislation when time allows to ensure that there is a consistent minimum age of 18 years for gambling across the sector. Next steps: DCMS consultation on secondary legislation on cash payout machines in summer 2023.
- Age verification: Legislation will be introduced to strength licensing authorities' powers in alcohol licensed premises. For land-based gambling, there will be consultation on a "Think 25" scheme and requiring test purchasing by small operators. Next steps: Legislation to be introduced when Parliamentary time allows
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