The government announced a delay in the consultation deadline due to a significant error. They mistakenly stated that the rate of problem gambling among 16-24-year-olds was 1.9%. The truth is, the actual rate of problem gambling in this age group is far lower. Figures from the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 show it at 0.8%. Health Survey England 2018 indicates a slightly higher rate of 1.0%. Despite the mistake, they decided to extend the consultation period by two weeks, until October 4. This extension is to allow for further responses from the public, industry, and stakeholders.
The Need for Better Regulation
The mistake in the government’s consultation paper highlights the need for better regulation of gambling. Inaccurate data can have severe consequences when creating policies that impact individuals’ lives and well-being. It is essential to gather accurate and reliable information before implementing new regulations. The government’s mistake also demonstrates the lack of attention and understanding towards problem gambling. It is vital for regulators to have a better understanding of the issue and its impact on society.
The New Approach to Online Slot Regulation
The consultation focuses on a measure from the gambling white paper. This measure proposes limiting the amount staked by a customer to anywhere between £2 and £15 per spin. The aim is to “structurally limit the risks of harmful play.” The paper argues that online slots present particularly high risks. They are linked with large losses, long playing sessions, and binge play.
Recent information from GamCare, a charity for gambling harms, supports this view. The charity reported that 60% of people who contacted its National Gambling Helpline in 2022-23 mentioned online slots as the primary cause for concern. This is a significant increase from the 34% who reported the same in the 2018-19 period.
The Impact of 2021 Reforms on Slot Products
In June, the Gambling Commission also gave its assessment of the 2021 reforms on slot products. The Commission argued that the new rules resulted in “reduced play intensity.” Furthermore, they reported no harmful unintended consequences from these rules.
In addition to these regulations, the Gambling Commission has been looking into crypto payments, which have become a common transaction method in online casinos. The use of crypto payments in gambling provides anonymity but it also raises concerns about potential misuse. The commission is actively considering how to best regulate this new form of payment to protect the interests of players.