What UK Slot Limit Proposal Means For You, Casino Operators

slot machines

Governors will soon be put into place upon online slot machines by the UK government. The Department for Culture Media and Sport recently announced that the maximum play on an online slot machine will be limited to £5 for players aged 25 and over. Limits for online slot players between the ages of 18-24 will be set at £2 per spin. 

Government officials insist that these measures are necessary due to the addictive nature of online casino gambling. “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,” Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said in a statement. 

These measures are slated to take effect beginning in September of 2024.

What This Means For You 

Studies conducted by the National Health Service show that slot players between the ages of 18-24 are the most susceptible to developing a gambling addiction. 

The UK government statement noted that his age group has the highest average problem gambling score of any group, as well as lower disposable income, ongoing neurological development impacting risk perception and common life stage factors like managing money for the first time.

On the other hand, placing rigid controls on more mature players tends to smack of the government acting as a nanny state. “The overwhelming majority (of slot players) bet perfectly safely and responsibly,” pointed out Michael Dugher, Chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council.

Dugher cautioned the government that placing restrictions on how much people can play at legal and regulated betting sites could have the negative impact of driving players back to the unlicensed offshore betting sites.

“We must avoid customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t tread carefully and get the balance of regulation right,” Dugher said in a statement. “It is crucial no check is introduced which risks driving these punters to the unsafe, unregulated black market online.

“These sites have none of the standards or protections offered by BGC members and they make no contribution either to the Exchequer or sports like horse racing.”

What This Means For Online Betting Sites 

Online casino gambling remains the fastest-growing element of the UK gambling industry. Statistics show that it accounts for £4 billion in annual revenue from this £10 billion industry. Of that total, some £3.2 billion is coming for online slot machines.

Originally, the government’s White Paper on the gambling industry was proposing a maximum limit of £8.50 per pull for online slot play. At that number, industry insiders were estimating an annual loss of £185 million from online casino gambling. Naturally, the lower maximum limit means the online betting sites will be taking an even harder hit to their bottom line.

While welcoming the enhanced protection for younger players, Dugher also cautioned that due to this decision there will be significant impact on the British gambling industry.

“It is important to recognise that measures like this come with a cost to our members and impact their customers,” Dugher said in a statement. “I would urge Ministers and the regulator to remain mindful of the overall impact all these changes make for BGC members.”