Government to introduce £2 limit for online slots

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Government to introduce £2 limit for online slots
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Department for Culture, Media and Sport said it would introduce the £2 stake per spin for 18-to-24 year olds, and a £5 limit for those aged 25 and above.

There is currently no limit on the amount people can bet on online slots.

The DCMS said easily accessible online slot games were "one of the most addictive forms of gambling", associated with large losses, long sessions and binge playing.

It also cited evidence suggesting a stronger link between gambling-related harm and suicide among young adults.

Gambling minister Stuart Andrew said: "Although millions of people gamble safely every single day, the evidence shows that there is a significantly higher problem gambling rate for online slot games."

Zoe Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware, welcomed the move, adding: "Our research shows a concerning trend with this age group experiencing an increase in harm arising from gambling and online slots are very high-risk products."

However, the Betting and Gaming Council, while supporting the concept of stake limits, said: "It is important to recognise that measures like this come with a cost of our members and impact their customers.

"We must avoid customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t trend carefully and get the balance of regulation right."

A limit of on online slot machines, similar to the one introduced in 2019 on fixed-odd betting terminals, was first mooted in last year’s white paper on gambling reform.

The government, which consulted on a maximum stake of between £2 and £15, said the majority of respondents agreed with the introduction of statutory limits.

The new limits will be introduced in September following secondary legislation, with a six-week transition period for the £5 stake and then a further six-week period for the £2 limit.