Recently the United Kingdom’s gambling industry regulator has decided to limit the bets that players can place on slot games to only £2 limits. This decision has had mixed reactions and sparked a debate about your freedom to place any bet you wish, as well the casino and the government’s responsibility to pass laws that protect you from problem gambling. Regardless of the reactions, this decision is bound to affect online casinos. Let’s look at why this limit was introduced and how it will affect online casinos – read our blog post.
Why the Limit Was Introduced
Some people are more susceptible to problem gambling than others. While most players can place a bet occasionally without getting addicted, problem gamblers gamble uncontrollably to the point that it disrupts their lives and those of the people closest to them.
In 2016 almost 340,000 problem gamblers were identified in the UK, with more at risk. Last year alone UK gamblers lost £14.4 billion collectively. Additionally, hospital cases related to gambling rose by 114% in 6 years. A report by the Gambling Commission stated that problem gamblers were mostly unemployed, from a black or other minority background, indicating signs of ill mental health and low wellbeing.
The number of problem gamblers in combination with the fact that problem gamblers were the most vulnerable in society is what led to the limit on slot bets. The government wants to protect the most vulnerable in society by limiting online slot bets.
What The £2 Limit Means for Online Casinos
A Drop in The Gambling Sector Market Value
Almost immediately after MPs announced that they would be introducing a £2 bet limit on online slots the stock market showed a massive drop in gambling sector shares. This decreased the gambling sector’s market value by almost £1.2bn.
The reduced bet limit essentially means players will be placing much smaller bets at online casinos. This, in turn, means that casinos will be generating less revenue from online slots than what they are used to.
Increased Slot Activity
Slots are already the most-played casino game at online casinos. The £2 limit has increased online slot activity even more. Since the bets are less, players will be able to get more spin out of their money and players who previously thought they did not have the budget for slots would now be more inclined to start playing.
Decreased Slot Activity
On the other hand, the £2 slot bet limit could also cause online casinos to lose customers, especially those attracted by large jackpots. If you are a slot player then you already know that the more you bet, the bigger the prize. So, if you play to win big but your bet limit is limited, it also limits the possible reward.
While online casinos are convenient, they have also made it too easy for the vulnerable to fall victim to problem gambling. The government is hoping that the £2 bet limit will help to reduce the scale and seriousness of the issue. However, as you can see in the article the limit also had some less than desirable outcomes for online casinos.