Skip to content

Gambling laws reformed for the digital age

Published on April 27, 2023
Updated on November 6, 2023
Written by Chris

Best Bookmaker Offers

18+ New Customers only. Max Win £10 Free Bet. Qualifying bets at odds 1/1 or greater. Paid as bonus token. Min 4/5 odds required. Skrill, Neteller, Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply.
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10. Further £10 credited after 7 days and a further £10 credited after 14 days. Full T&Cs apply.18+.  
New customers & 18+ only. Min. deposit of £10. The promotion reward functions as a £30 Surprise Bet. Qualifying real money bet of £10. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Offer awarded immediately but could be issued the next working day in exceptional circumstances such as technical fault. Additional T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly. Full T&Cs
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&Cs Apply.
Gambling laws reformed for the digital age

Gambling companies will be obliged to increase checks on customers who are sustaining unaffordable losses as part of new gambling reforms.

The plans, which will be triggered when a gambler loses £1,000 within 24 hours, or £2,000 over a 90 day period, were outlined in the UK Government’s gambling White Paper published on Thursday April 27.

Other measures in the document include maximum stakes for online slot machines of between £2 and £15 for all customers subject to consultation and a new statutory levy that will see gambling companies funding research, education and treatment.

The Gambling Commission will conduct background checks at moderate levels of spending to check for indicators of “financial vulnerability” including county court judgments. The UK Government have proposed that those initial checks begin at net losses of £125 a month or £500 within a year.

At higher spending levels, which may point to harmful binge gambling or continued unaffordable losses, the government have stated that there must be a more detailed appriasal of a customer’s financial situation. The threshold for this has been set at a £1,000 net loss within 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days.

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer stated that the reforms, which cover “six key areas”, would protect vulnerable customers.

“Firstly, we want to tackle some of the challenges unique to online gambling…we are going to force companies to step up their checks on when losses are likely to be unaffordable or harmful for punters.

“Companies already have to intervene when they know a customer is spending vast sums, but this change will better-protect those least able to afford even small losses.”

The key measures in the White Paper

A 1% mandatory levy on industry revenues

Tougher affordability checks to prevent huge losses

Online slot machine stakes capped at between £2 and £15

Curbing “free spin” and “bonus” offers

Measures to slow down online casino games

More resources for the Gambling Commission

Plans for a gambling ombudsman

A gambling White Paper for the smartphone era

Frazer also announced a new statutory levy will see gambling companies required to fund more groundbreaking research, education and treatment.

Speaking about the new statutory levy which will see gambling companies be required to fund research, education and treatment Fraser said:

“No one should be denied an innocent flutter, but the public should not have to bear the cost of treatment when a punter becomes an addict.

“one of the important changes…will be a new statutory levy to turn the tables on problem gambling, one that sees gambling companies required to fund more groundbreaking research, education and treatment.”

She continued: “We need a new approach that recognises a flutter is one thing, unchecked addiction is another. So, today we are bringing our pre-smartphone regulations into the present day with a gambling white paper for the digital age.”

UK Bookmakers React

Ladbrokes owner Entain has welcomed the publication of the Government’s gambling white paper and said it has already implemented a number of actions linked to the new proposals.

Entain’s chief executive officer said: “The UK Gambling Act Review is an important step towards having a robust regulatory framework that is fit for the digital age and creates a level playing field for all operators.

“We welcome the clarity that it will bring to the industry and customers.”

Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment, whose brands include Paddy Power and Betfair, said: “We welcome the publication of the White Paper, which marks a significant moment for the UK gambling sector.

“Whilst we will need to review the detail of the proposals once published, we believe proactive change will lead to a better future for our industry.

Share this article
Article link copied!

Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise