How Newly Imposed UK Online Slot Limits Could Impact US Online Casinos

The United Kingdom has announced rules concerning maximum stakes at online casinos. The stake limit has been set to £5 for gamblers (equivalent to $6.33 in the US) above 25 years old and £2 for those aged between 18-24

From September 2024 onwards, the measures are a historical moment in the history of the mature UK gaming market. It is the first time maximum stakes are introduced for online slots in the country. The government said the announcement was a “landmark” moment for regulating online gaming. 

Following secondary legislation, a six-week transition period will be enforced, during which operators will be forced to comply with the new limits. The government has allowed a second six-week period to implement additional technical solutions to help operators completely abide by the lowered stake limit. 

The new rule will also allow for a 10-week consultation period. During this time, respondents will be free to discuss the proposal to enforce statutory limits on online gaming. In its statement, the government said most respondents agreed to enforce the new limits on online gambling. The consultation period accommodates responses from industry experts, academics, treatment providers, and others. 

UK Gambling Act White Paper and What It Means for USA

The recently published Gambling Act white paper laid the groundwork for the dramatic change in rules when it was published in April 2023. It included a series of suggestions from the government on improving the regulatory framework of gambling in the United Kingdom. The white paper, two years in the making, was a culmination of a series of changes in legislative ideologies that encompassed the resignation and appointment of two different prime ministers. 

The white paper called for evidence around ten different factors surrounding online gambling, including calling into question the effectiveness of existing protections for online gambling customers and the distribution of online revenue between lower and higher-spending customers. 

It then evaluated the imposition of various controls on online gaming, including stake, speed, and prize limits for online games, in addition to testing requirements. When the paper was published, it suggested the introduction of deposit or spending limits. 

Initially, it questioned whether limits should exist universally or if they should have been applied based on affordability, depending on player spending capacity. Overall, The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) closely examined the unforeseen risks of a new generation learning about gambling through a new channel – the internet. 

“Concerns have been raised that the companies who provide the brands may be seeking to use white label arrangements as they would be unable to meet the GB regulatory standards required to obtain a license themselves, and that this, therefore, poses risks to consumers,” the DCMS said in a statement.

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United States Online Casino Market Yet to Mature

Gambling has been one of the main recreational activities of Great Britain since historical times. The earliest horse races were recorded in 1539, and the country allowed the operation of commercial bingo halls and commercial casinos in the sixties. Accordingly, the government has spent decades refining its gambling laws to protect its citizens. The Gambling Act of 2005 paved the way for establishing larger resort-style casinos. 

Along these lines, the gambling industry of the United States could be considered to be 20 years behind that of the United Kingdom on a national level. Despite casinos having existed in Vegas since the fifties, many states have still completely outlawed all forms of online gaming. The UK’s new ruling on the imposition of statutory limits may have a rub-off effect on the United States, as republican lawmakers will look for guidance from the more established and regulated market in the United Kingdom. 

Further, the UK, a much smaller country than the United States, can impose much tighter controls on gambling from a centralized seat of power. In the United States, each state is free to develop its own gambling and sports betting rules. We are currently in the middle of a shake-up, as governments have started to notice the revenue potential of iGaming, as it has with sports betting. 

As the battle for legalization continues, we expect many conservative lawmakers to turn to the UK as a reference point while selectively highlighting the issues the country has faced while glancing over the solutions that it is implementing. On the bright side, the imposition of spending limits from the start may pave the way for the legalization of gambling in states leaning towards legalizing online gambling. 


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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