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28 Months Later: British Gambling White Paper Finally Released

After two years and four months worth of delays, the British Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has finally released its white paper on gambling reform. Formally known as the Gambling Act review White Paper, the document outlines a variety of gambling reforms that range from affordability checks to slot machine limits. In short, it’s a blueprint for significant changes designed to bring the British gaming industry (and the regulations that govern it) into the digital age.

The most significant proposed reform in the paper is a new threshold for affordability checks. It suggests a monthly loss threshold of £125 ($155 USD) and a yearly loss threshold of £500 ($623 USD) before affordability checks are triggered. The paper also suggests a lower threshold for players between the ages of 18 and 25.

Though the paper does not specifically mandate deposit limits, that’s a thorny subject that it skirts around. The paper’s authors suggest an opt-in feature that lets players determine their own deposit thresholds.

Because many problem gamblers spread their spending across multiple accounts, it’s suggested that the industry improve data sharing on this demographic. “Individual operators can take steps to prevent harm on their own platform, but people suffering gambling harms often hold multiple accounts. Where there are serious concerns, operators must work together,” it reads.

One area of proposed reform that will surely impact the bottom lines at plenty of UK-facing operators is a stake limit. The paper suggests that younger players be limited to £2 ($2.50 USD) or £4 ($5 USD). More significantly, the paper suggests a national stake limit somewhere between £2 and £15 ($18.71) for players of all ages.

The Gambling Act Review white paper is a dense document that the industry is still digesting and it’s certain that reactions from industry players will be forthcoming.