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Why UK Gambling Act 2005 Amendments May Have to Wait Until 2022

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2021-03-29

The Gambling Act 2005 is indeed the first significant regulation in the UK gambling scene since 1961. This act is responsible for regulating any form of betting, except spread betting. The law also created the UK Gambling Commission to oversee the betting landscape.

Why UK Gambling Act 2005 Amendments May Have to Wait Until 2022

But since 2005, the industry has changed a lot, especially after the rise of online casinos. As a result, the UKGC has had to develop stricter rules to create a safer and more responsible gambling scene.

A much-welcomed relief for players and operators

Surprisingly, there may not be any changes to the Gambling Act 2005 any time soon (at least until 2022. According to the Director of Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports, Ben Dean, all viewpoints on the Gambling Act 2005 changes are welcome before the alterations become permanent.

Speaking during the "Westminster Policy forum event," Dean said the ongoing gambling law review needs to represent the bigger industry picture.

He stated that the review's main objective is to take a broad look at the overall regulatory system. This will enable them to get the right balance between respecting consumers' freedom of choice and preventing individual harm.

However, Ben Dean remained tight-lipped on particular measures, stating that several high-level roundtable meetings are ongoing behind closed doors. The sessions involve the UKGC, industry representatives, and individuals with first-hand experience of betting harm.

The roundtable sessions are expected to conclude before 2021 ends, and data collected will be used to release a white paper. Dean suggested that any recommendations are unlikely to be enforced before 2022.

Public tension and speculations

The review of the Gambling Act 2005 is already a potato-hot topic between the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) consisting of the UKGC, on the one hand, and the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council), on the other. The BGC is the betting industry representative body. After introducing unpopular laws like the credit card ban, imposing strict betting stake limits, and so on, there has been industry unrest.

What to expect in the Gambling Act 2021?

Of course, no one can be certain of the new changes and rules that will be part of the new act. That said, there are already a few pointers due to the UKGC and other industry groups' recent behavior.

  • Credit card ban – After a surge of credit card fraud in the industry, the UKGC decided to impose a blanket ban on credit card betting in April 2021. To date, this remains one of the most unpopular moves by the body. The body is even looking to tighten the rule further by preventing the use of 'credit' via pay-by-phone bills.
  • VIP schemes – In September 2020, the UKGC introduced a raft of measures to regulate malpractice in VIP gambling. In the new rules, the operator must verify the player's source of funds before offering them VIP status. Also, the operator must first find out if the player has any history of gambling-related addition. What's more, the operator should ensure thorough ID verification to ascertain the information provided.
  • Permanent ban on any misleading slot feature – After comprehensive consultations last year, the UKGC announced the introduction of protocols banning slot game features like spin speeds below 2.5 seconds and Autoplay. The body argues that the Autoplay feature can lead to players losing track of time, while fast spins give players a feeling of control over their win rate.

    The future looks promising

    Although the UK Gambling Act amendments may seem "mean," they are all aimed at making the industry safer for both parties involved. Dean said that the aim is to create flexible and future-proof regulations. Now that's not any further from the truth!

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