Daily Spending Limit Proposed To Curb UK Pandemic Gambling
In April 2021, a cross-party group of UK Parliament members proposed a £50 daily spending limit for users on gambling sites. The group of politicians is lobbying for online gambling operators to accept and enforce this spending limit in response to a letter from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm’s (APPG) letter. The letter was sent to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in April 2020, as well as the owTners of the biggest gambling entertainment companies in the UK. In it, five “urgently needed measures” are outlined to guard UK citizens against gambling harm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter expresses concern about the increased number of people turning to gambling to deal with the ongoing crisis, and the potential risks of that behaviour on the nation’s mental and financial health. Among measures that need to be adopted, the APPG suggests a daily limit for all bettors and preventing gambling site users from opening multiple accounts. Sites that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, like William Hill’s Bingo, Poker, and Games platforms, are already enforcing the latter to ensure the safest gambling experience for their customers.
The APPG letter and the cross-party UK MPs’ demand for daily spending limit implementation coincide with a 21% increase in self-imposed gambling blocks at GAMSTOP. The self-exclusion service noted a record 326 blockings just on February 22, 2021. On the other hand, the UK Gambling Commission’s data has reported that British bettors lost £18 million per day in March. Out of this amount, £6 million were lost on slot games.
In 2020, the APPG asked for a £2 online slot take cap, which caused stock prices to fall for gambling companies. The group has also called for a change in the UK Gambling Commission’s way of operating, estimating that this regulatory body is not performing its duty well enough to curb problem gambling.