Online slot stakes to be capped at £2 for younger gamblers

Wild Casino

The UK government has announced a new regulation setting a £2 maximum stake for online gambling slots for individuals aged 18 to 24.

For adults aged 25 and over, the stake limit will be £5, aligning online gambling more closely with land-based casinos.

Unlike land-based gaming machines found in casinos, online slots currently have no stake limits until the new rules come into effect in September.

“Easily accessible online slot games are one of the most addictive forms of gambling, and can be associated with large losses, long sessions, and binge play,” said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

This decision to cap online stakes follows a 10-week consultation aiming to mitigate gambling-related harms among young adults, who are seen as particularly vulnerable due to factors such as lower disposable income and ongoing neurological development.

“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,” said gambling minister Stuart Andrew.

“We also know that young adults can be more vulnerable when it comes to gambling-related harms, which is why we committed to addressing both of these issues in our white paper,” he added.

NHS survey figures show that there is a problem gambling rate of 8.7% for online gambling on slots, casino or bingo games. This is one of the highest rates across all gambling activities.

Men were more likely than women to take part in online gambling activities (excluding lotteries).

Zoë Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware commented: “We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce lower online stake limits for under 25s as an important mechanism to protect young people.

“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.

As we continue our work to tackle this growing public health issue, we will collaborate with the Government and others across the gambling harms sector to ensure there are no missed opportunities when it comes to the introduction of robust preventative measures, including new regulations such as these.”

Gaming stocks were unphased by the announcement, with Flutter Entertainment PLC (LSE:FLTR) up 0.8% and Entain PLC (LSE:ENT) up 0.35% on Friday afternoon.