Sources Say New UK Gambling Laws Will Limit Bets and Ban VIP Schemes

3 min read

News regarding the impending changes to UK gambling laws has been lacking in recent months, but sources close to the government say VIP schemes and betting limits are going to be cut.

Rumored changes to online gambling laws in the UK could see betting limits reduced and VIP schemes banned. (Image 5 Star iGaming Media)

The “senior source” told the Mail on Sunday that certain changes to the Gambling Act have been unofficially agreed to already, though it’s important to stress that no official announcements have been made at this stage.

The national newspaper’s anonymous insider said there will be a dramatic reduction in the amount customers can wager online.

Tighter restrictions are likely

The source reportedly told the Mail on Sunday that it’s “highly likely” the maximum bet for online slots will be brought in line with current FOBT laws.

Those following the recent changes to UK gambling laws will know that the government introduced a £2 limit for live betting terminals in 2019. Matching this would mean players could only stake a maximum of £2 per spin on online slots. The other major change that could affect high rollers is a ban on VIP schemes.

The Mail on Sunday’s article doesn’t define what it means by “VIP schemes,” but further investigation suggests that it may apply to loyalty programs that reward players who lose large sums of money. There is a chance, however, that the ban could extend to loyalty programs in general. If that’s the case, it may bring an end to all cashback incentives and VIP bonuses.

The rumored changes are, by and large, aimed at online casinos, though a ban on VIP schemes could impact poker sites. Rakeback schemes don’t necessarily reward players for losing money. Instead, points are earned based on the rake contributions a player makes.

But, it may be the case that government ministers aren’t aware of such nuances. Therefore, any ban on VIP schemes could result in a ban on rakeback at online poker sites in the UK.

UK gambling law shakeup could hurt poker players

CardsChat reached out to some of the leading UK operators for comment, but due to the proposed changes being little more than hearsay at the moment, no one is willing to speculate on the possible ramifications without having more information.

The one thing we know is that changes are coming. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said last year that he wants the UK’s gambling laws to be fit for the digital age, and he launched a review of the 2005 Gambling Act off the back of that comment.

A call for evidence followed and responses from ministers, industry insiders, and members of the public were collected. The submission period ended in March and the evidence has been under review since then. But, with COVID-19 pushing the majority of political issues into the background over the past 16 months, no official decisions have been made as of yet.

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