The Gambling Commission is weighing up advice to introduce a £1 maximum stake for online slots, according to a leaked report.
The recommendation comes in a report from an influential group of so called “experts by experience” (those who have lived experience of gambling-related harm) which also suggests firms look at “opportunities around stake and time, which a proactive industry should be keen to grasp” during the current crisis.
The prospect of online stake limits has been present for some time – and given added inertia since land-based gaming machine regulations were changed by politicians to a maximum of £2.
The report allegedly favours a £1 limit, but leaves options open for £2 and £5 stakes. While the Commission’s suggestions are likely to “exert an influence on the final outcome of any Government review,” analysts at Regulus Partners note that the “regulator also seems to have left the door open for the industry to develop dynamic staking levels that allow customers to access higher levels subject to enhanced due diligence and checks on customer wellbeing.”
Online gambling firms saw their share prices slashed in February after the Gambling Commission’s chief executive Neil McArthur told a cross-party panel of MPs that his team was considering cutting stakes to £2 this year – with or without a governmental review. However the most likely process for stake limit change would be through legislative amendment to the Gambling Act. The government has already announced a wholesale review of the 2005 Gambling Act, to update many aspects of the current regime such as VIP marketing, advertising and game design.