During the coronavirus crisis there were many voices arguing that excessive sports betting and online casino add are dangerous to the public. With plenty of time on their hands and unable to leave the house, many people chose alternative forms of entertainment. Online casinos were happy to provide this alternative and were quick to overwhelm people with advertisements. Eventually, they agreed to stop advertising during the crisis yet they are ready to return to their old ways. The initiative of more than 50 members of the parliament could do in their plans, and they contemplate the banning of online casino ads.
Major shakeup of UK gambling laws
Over the last decade there were few changes of extraordinary magnitude to affect the gambling industry in Britain. The influential group of members of the parliament believes that it is time to change some things, as indicated in their recent report. They spent a lot of time gathering evidence on how the gambling industry could hurt the general public. The sheer size of the industry is intimidating, as it is estimated at more than 11 billion GBP and it generates a lot of money through taxes.
What the members of the parliament have in mind is a major upgrade of the 2005 Gambling Act. Past performance suggests that this group of influential politicians can actually achieve its goals. Not so long ago, they were successful in their campaign to ban credit card bets, as these financial instruments are no longer accepted. They were also behind the controversial initiative of curbing the fixed odds betting terminals and they seem highly motivated to also succeed in this attempt. Unlike other initiatives that failed, this one has a chance to succeed because the group includes members of both major parties.
What changes are to be expected?
The ambitious project would bring sweeping changes to the online gaming industry, with the ban on gambling ads being at the top of the list. This will affect not only TV ads, but also online advertisements, which would make it more difficult for punters to learn about casinos and their latest offers. If this happens, online gambling operators will have to get creative to reach prospective punters, while standing out from the crowd. The other proposed changes include a £2 stake limit on online slot machines that can be seen here, which is also meant to reduce the impact of excessive gambling.
Another thing that could also change if the bill passes is that VIP schemes will be terminated. The reasoning behind such a measure is to reduce the psychological impact that loyalty programs have on active players. This will also complicate the mission of online casinos in their quest to attract new players, while keeping existing ones happy. In conjunction with the ban on TV ads, it is likely that established casinos catering for UK players will lose ground to newcomers. The members of the parliament believe that further controls of gambling game designs are needed and that a new ombudsman must be appointed.