The UK Gambling Commission’s long-awaited report on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has revealed some changes for the country’s online poker players that will TK.
The government-backed triennial report was designed to review the topic of electronic betting terminals and their maximum wagers.
Responsible for players spending more than $19 billion each year, the machines have been dubbed the “crack cocaine” of the gambling world and some have called for them to be banned. The report called for betting maximums to be reduced from £100 to £30.
But it wasn’t their only recommendation that might interest poker players
UKGC’s Critical Eye on Industry
In response to public debate, the UKGC carried out a review of the industry as a whole and that’s thrown up some shortcomings by the leading online operators.
As well as predicting that online poker, casino and sports betting will soon account for 50 percent of the UK’s gambling revenue, the regulator said more needs to be done to protect players.
“Overall, progress by the online industry to minimize harm has been significantly slower than we expected and required,” reads the UKGC’s report.
One of the major points highlighted in the report was a concern that terms and conditions across the board are either unclear or unfair.
The recommendation for change comes after the Competition and Markets Authority raised concerns over ambiguous terms linked to a number of online bonuses.
Building on the CMA’s findings, the UKGC is considering amendments to its licensing codes of practice, which would set out new standards for promotions, payments, and player rights.
As well as making any new rules mandatory, the UKGC will be offering operators guidance on unfair conditions as well as advice for players on what service they should expect to receive.
Focused on Players
The other area of change that will interest UK poker players is withdrawals. Under the current system, many operators only undertake due diligence checks at the point a customer request a cashout.
This dynamic often means players have to wait around 48 hours before the transaction is authorized which, in turn, means that whole process can take up to five days to complete. The UKGC believes that better player identification procedures can remove the need for drawn-out due diligence checks and speed things up.
As well as reducing processing times, the UKGC wants operators to remove any “unreasonable” conditions linked to withdrawals such as wagering limits. At this stage, the recommendations contained within the report will need to be ratified by the UK government before they become laws.
However, officials at the UKGC have indicated that action will be taken against operators that fail to meet the standards required.
“If operators fail to act upon this they too will face robust regulatory action,” concludes the report.