Licensed gambling operators across the UK are keeping their fingers crossed as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has started the process of reviewing the UK Gambling Act 2005.
DCMS started the review process from December 7 and will be looking at a number of critical areas to decide what amendments need to be made to the outdated Gambling Act. Gambling operators know that regulations are going to be tightened after the review but the big question is what exactly will DCMS look to change?
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the gambling watchdog that is supposed to regulate the gambling industry. The UKGC has received a lot of criticism over the last few years as problem gambling in the country. The gambling regulator has taken flak for being too lenient with gambling operators and not doing enough to protect UK gamblers.
DCMS has decided to lead the review process and will target several issues which includes imposing betting limits for online bets, the speed of slot game spins and limits on bonuses and prizes that can be distributed.
National Audit Office
DCMS will also look into imposing stricter affordability checks, a potential ban on sponsorships of sports in the country, a test procedure for new gambling products and services, a better appeal process for players who feel cheated and putting in place a minimum funding requirement to address problem gambling.
More than 50 Members of Parliament (MPs) have thrown their support behind the DCMS review and believe it is high time the UK government stepped up and imposed tighter regulations on UK operators.
BGC Warns Against Being Too Stringent
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is keen to see the Gambling Act 2005 updated but warns that there has to be a proper balance when putting in place new regulations. The BGC has cautioned DCMS to not go overboard and impose overtly strict regulations as it could backfire and make the licensed gambling industry in the UK less appealing to Brits.
This could drive British punters to unlicensed gambling sites that are not governed by any of these stringent gambling regulations. UK players will take the risk of playing at these unlicensed operators because the terms and conditions look more attractive. However, they open themselves up to more risk of being exploited as there are a number of rogue operators out there.
We will have to wait and see what DCMS decides with regards to new gaming amendments.