UK Will Ban VIP Pampering, Set Slots Limits, Newspaper Says

March 1, 2023
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The long-awaited UK gambling white paper will ban VIP loyalty packages, set online slots limits and will finally arrive at the end of this month, according to the Financial Times.

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The long-awaited UK gambling white paper will ban VIP loyalty packages, set online slots limits and will finally arrive at the end of this month, according to the Financial Times.

Stakes on online slots will be limited to between £2 and £5, according to the UK business publication.

But controversial affordability limits are still being debated, the FT said in an article on February 28.

A previous draft set caps on spending at £125 on monthly losses or £500 on annual losses before enhanced checks would take place, but those limits could be watered down, the publication said, citing “people close to discussions”.

The white paper is the first step in updating the 2005 Gambling Act, and it will be followed by consultations on issues such as how checks might be as frictionless as possible, using credit checks and open-banking data.

The document is not expected to ban gambling sponsorships on Premier League shirts, but will pressure the league to end the sponsorships voluntarily, the FT said.

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive Michael Dugher said the gambling industry is “relaxed” about a mandatory betting levy, but it is eager to see the white paper released.

The delay has “been bad for business, as the industry craves certainty”, he told the FT.

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer has been reviewing the document, meeting with industry executives and those with experience of gambling harm.

Sports minister Stuart Andrew has yet to be formally named gambling minister.

Also on February 28, the BGC hailed what the Gambling Commission called a “statistically stable” problem gambling rate of 0.2 percent in 2022, compared with 0.3 percent in 2021.

The regulator surveys 4,001 residents quarterly over the age of 16.

The BGC hailed the new problem gambling figures as “remaining low by international standards”.

About 44 percent of those surveyed on behalf of the Gambling Commission reported having gambled in the past four weeks in 2022, roughly the same as 2021, but below pre-COVID participation rates, the commission said.

In-person gambling rates grew from 25 percent to 28 percent in 2021, while online gambling participation rates were little changed at 27 percent, the commission said.

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