UK: DCMS expects spin limit to reduce online slots revenue by 5.2%

There will be a lower limit for under 25s.
There will be a lower limit for under 25s.

The UK government will introduce maximum stake limits in September.

UK.- The UK government Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has revealed that maximum stake limits to be introduced for online slots are expected to reduce gross gambling yield by £166.2m. that would be a 5.2 per cent drop in online slots yield and a 2.6 per cent drop in total online gambling yield.

The government announced on Friday that there will be a general limit of £5 per spin and a lower limit of £2 for customers aged under 25. The latter limit is the same as the limit placed on land-based fixed-odds betting machines (FOBTs) in 2019.

The government recognised that operators will also face costs related to the implementation and testing of mechanisms to enforce the new limit on games. It said these costs will be estimated in a final impact assessment to be published later in the year.

The DCMS received 98 responses to its consultation on the proposal, with 46 individual respondents and 52 from organisations. It said that 60 per cent favoured the stake limit of £2 or under for younger adults and that 34 per cent had been in favour of a £2 limit for all ages.

The DCMS said: “We believe that a £5 limit will achieve the government’s stated objectives in a proportionate way, with a lower risk of unintended consequences such as displacement to the illegal online market. We think that a £5 maximum stake for adults aged 25 and over will help to reduce harm because of the constraint on a player’s ability to place very large stakes quickly.

“Around 20 per cent of customers currently choose to stake over £5 on a spin at least once a year (so will be impacted by this measure), but only 0.6 per cent of all spins are over £5. Moreover, it takes consideration of the structural differences between land-based in-person gambling and online play. A £5 limit aligns with the stake limit for B1 machines in casinos which we believe to be the most comparable land-based gambling environment in terms of risk.”

On the lower limit for under 25s, it said: “A separate limit for young adults aligns with the wider government approach to gambling of targeted and evidence-based interventions for those at risk, while not unduly restricting others.”

Implementation of the UK online casino slot limits

It’s the first time there has been a limit placed on online slot spins in the UK. The measure will be implemented through secondary legislation, allowing a fairly rapid introduction. It will come into force in September, and there will two transition periods to give operators time to update their systems.

There will be an initial six-week transition period by the end of which operators must comply with the £5 limit. A second six-week period will provide additional time if needed to adapt systems to comply with the lower limit for under 24s.

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