UK Gambling Firms shares plummets after call to cut stakes

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Published by Daniel Hardman on November 08, 2019 in Industry News

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The online casino industry is booming with players from all over the world playing their favourite games from the comfort of their homes.  
 

Over the past few months there has been a call for a few changes to increase safety of the online gambling industry even more.
 

With the call to limit maximum stakes on slot machines the industries betting shares have taken a massive hit.  
 

Changes requested from the industry 

The online casino industry is constantly growing and evolving and so is its gambling regulations. The main priority for many regulatory and governing bodies is to protect those who partake in online gambling activities.  

Recently the MPs from the cross-party group on gambling-related harm recommended strict curbs on online casino games. The MPs recently joined the successful campaign to cut stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2. And recommended that the same limits should be applied to web based slot machine games.  

The MPs include a lot of influential people such as the former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith. And they feel that labour has already backed much tougher regulations in the gambling industry making this another one that could be added in the future.  

If these curbs on online slot games are implemented it is speculated that online casino games will lose costs of more than £2bn a year. Just after the MPs recommended curbs were revealed the shares in UK gambling firms lost nearly £1.2bn in value.  

Should these proposals be adopted they will definitely minimize the amount online casinos generate from slot machine players. Online slots are among the most popular games currently played online and casinos generate more than a third of their income from these games.  
 

Player safety comes first 

One of the biggest harm factors of online gambling according to the MPs report is that there are no stakes, prize or deposit limits. This means that players can easily bet thousands of pounds in mere minutes from their mobile devices without any supervision.  

They stated that it is a matter of urgency to implement stake and deposit limits to reduce the harm that the industry is causing. The MPs report continued saying that the government agreed that in order to limit the harm from fixed-odds betting terminals need to limit the stakes to £2. Additionally the MPs stated that stake and deposit limits are desperately needed in the online gambling industry to limit harm.  

According to the MPs there is no justification for having online slot machines with staking levels above £2. The argued that if these stakes are not acceptable in land-based venues then they shouldn’t be allowed online either.  
 

More change requests 

The MPs are dedicated to targeting all the problem areas in online gambling that could lead to harm for players. In their report they mentioned that they want a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling activities.  

Additionally they requested that online casinos need to have a far more responsible approach when it comes to advertising and restrictions on VIP accounts.   

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith stated that online gambling operators have been exploiting vulnerable gamblers for too long and urged the Gambling Commission to look into the issue with greater depth.

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