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UK Gambling Operators Face Millions in Losses Due to New £2 Slot Machine Cap

The UK government is expected to announce a new cap on online slot machine stakes, imposing a £2 limit for players under 25, a decision likely to cost the gambling industry significantly.
The same policy previously applied to fixed-odds betting terminals will now extend to digital slots, according to the Guardian.

While the current setup does not effectively restrict stakes, with online slots generating over £3 billion annually, the new measures aim to address addiction risks, especially among young gamblers.

Details regarding the implementation timeline and other specifics will likely emerge on Friday, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport yet to comment. The move could result in revenue losses exceeding the £185 million initially projected if the stake limit was £8.50.

Industry insiders suggest the dual stake structure may further financially burden operators. Meanwhile, campaigners laud the changes but argue a universal £2 cap is necessary to prevent harm, with some suggesting missed opportunities in avoiding gambling fatalities.

Online casinos represent the largest growth in the gambling sector, with slot games alone generating £3.2 billion. Along with the stake caps, the Gambling Commission is evaluating mandatory checks for significant gambling losses.

Public polling indicates support for these affordability checks, challenging the horse racing industry's resistance. The government's broader reform plans encompassed in the white paper also suggest a potential mandatory levy to support addiction treatment and research.

Ipsos research, commissioned by GambleAware, revealed overall approval for both basic and extensive checks among frequent and non-gamblers. Despite privacy concerns, opposition to these measures remains low.

This comprehensive approach seeks to refine gambling regulation, particularly concerning loss thresholds and the age of players.

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