The United Kingdom is showing no signs of stopping its gambling crackdown. For almost all of 2019, the UK gambling commission has been looking for new ways to lower gambling addiction rates in the country. Recently, several gambling companies here were fined for breaking the country’s set of gambling laws.
It’s a tough time for online gambling operators in the UK. Today, we’ll be looking at which companies were fined. We’ll also talk about how effective these new regulations have been.
New Gambling Regulations Set in the UK This Year
As we’ve already mentioned, 2019 has been a rough year for online gambling companies in the UK. Late last year, reports came out that showed the rising number of gambling addicts here. To combat this issue, lawmakers here have implemented strict regulations surrounding both land-based and online gambling.
One of the primary land-based regulations set this year were on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTS). These gambling machines are in betting shops owned by major companies. In the past, FOBTS would accept wagers up to £100. Now, the maximum stake allowed on these machines is just £2.
Lowering the maximum wager that FOBTS can offer has taken its toll on several companies. William Hill’s land-based revenue has dropped significantly. Now this company is working hard to expand in the newly-emerging US sports betting market.
The UK Gambling Commission has also set several new gambling ad restrictions in place. In April, the government announced an official “National Strategy” to combat gambling addiction.
On the one hand, it’s great to see the government working to stop the spread of problem gambling. On the other hand, it’s led to many companies losing money. Unfortunately, this crackdown isn’t slowing down.
UK Gambling Commission Fines Several More Companies
Recently, the UK Gambling Commission has started to review the licenses issued to different online gambling operators. This regulatory group wants to make sure that all companies are abiding by the new set of gambling regulations. According to new reports, they’ve found and issued fines to several of these companies.
The commission found several companies that are not following the country’s gambling laws. Ladbrokes is one of the biggest companies to land in hot water with the UKGC. This company was fined £5.9 million for failing to adhere to the recent regulations set in place.
The government wants to make sure that all online gambling operators are working to protect their players from the dangers of gambling addiction.
Richard Watson, Executive Director of the UK Gambling Commission, recently commented on the decision to fine these companies to the media.
“This is yet another example of us taking firm action against online operators who fail to protect consumers or implement effective safeguards against money laundering. We must see the industry stepping up and providing consumers in Great Britain with the safest and fairest gambling market in the world,” he said.
UK Residents Continue to Gamble Despite New Regulations
The UK has an extremely lucrative gambling market. Not long ago, the BBC conducted a study on how much money residents here spend on gambling. The results are eye-opening.
Nearly £14.5 billion was spent on gambling here between October of 2017 and September of 2018. Online gambling accounts for the majority of this revenue, at £5.6 billion. Land-based betting shops brought in £3.2 billion. Men aged between 25 and 34 gamble the most here. 40% of individuals in this demographic claim to gamble at least once per month.
More land-based betting shops in the UK are beginning to close. Regulations set on FOBTs have forced many companies to shut down these brick and mortar shops. William Hill even claims that it’s closing 700 of its betting shops.
Fortunately, some of these regulations seem to be working. For the past four years, there’s been an increase in the number of individuals who seek help for gambling addiction issues. GamCare, a charity group that helps those struggling with problem gambling, claims it received nearly 30,000 phone calls between 2017 and 2018. There are also several gambling addiction treatment centers now opening around the country.
The UK Gambling Commission is taking these gambling addiction issues seriously. We’ll need to wait and see exactly how the new regulations set here affect companies in the future.
Let us know what you think about the UK’s new gambling laws in the comments section below!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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