The UK government has published two consultations following up the Gambling White Paper.  The first consultation deals with online slot games; the second relates to the land-based gambling sector. 

The consultations accompany consultations by the Gambling Commission which are the subject of a separate article.

Online slot games

One of the key proposals in the White Paper was the introduction of a maximum stake limit for online slots games. Therefore, the government is consulting on four maximum online slots stake limits of between £2 per spin and £15 per spin.

It is also considering slot-specific measures to give greater protections for 18 to 24-year-olds who the evidence suggests may be a particularly vulnerable cohort (with a slot limit of £2-£4).

It also seeks views on information to support the effective implementation of the policy, including the meaning of ‘online slots games’, ‘maximum stake’ and ‘spin/game cycle’.

The consultation ends on 20 September 2023.

Land-based gambling

In the second consultation, the government is seeking views on the following proposals:

Relaxation of casino rules: allowing large casinos to increase the number of their gaming machines to 80, allowing smaller casinos more than 20 machines, on a pro rata basis commensurate to their size and permitting betting in all casinos.

Machines in arcades and bingo halls: changing the 80/20 ratio governing higher to lower stake gaming machines to enable venues to better meet customer demands and save on energy costs.

Cashless payments on gaming machines: helping future-proof the industry by consulting on the player protections needed to remove the prohibition on the direct use of debit cards on gaming machines.

Introduction of a legal age limit of 18 for certain gaming machines: protecting children and young people by banning anyone under the age of 18 from playing low stake Category D slot machines that pay out cash.

Licensing authority fees: ensuring that licensing authorities have the funding they need to carry out their licensing and enforcement duties for premises licences.

The consultation ends on 4 October 2023.

Following the consultations, the government will publish its decisions and reasoning before implementing the changes.