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Will the regulation of online gambling change in the UK?

A lot of gamblers and poker pros think online gambling is a fun and relaxing activity. However, not everyone holds the same opinion, as some people only look at the risky side of gambling.

It doesn’t matter if you play slots or online poker, as you always have the responsibility to gamble without exceeding your financial limits. Unfortunately, not everyone can control themselves once they place their bets, which is where a group of UK MP’s came in last week.

On November 4th, the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (aka APPG) released a thought-provoking report. In it, there are clear guidelines on how online casinos can prevent overzealous gamblers from losing too much money.

The publication made some noise in the press, as gamblers are wondering how online poker play will be affected in the country.

How it All Began

It all started about six months ago when a few parliamentarians showed concern about the regulation in online casino rooms. The APPG was in charge of a formal inquiry into the potential harm of online gambling, whether people choose to play simple games such as slots or play poker online.

The report states that the official Gambling Commission, which should be promoting responsible gambling, is not doing enough to protect vulnerable gamblers. Therefore, it was mentioned that the government should take control and pass new laws that will ensure safe gambling.

Here are some of the suggestions made by the APPG:

  • The stakes in online slots games should not exceed £2. According to the report, since the same limits exist in brick-and-mortar venues - and it serves its purpose - it should exist in online venues as well.
  • There is a need to ban the use of credit cards in online gambling, as it will prevent players from going into debt while playing casino games.
  • VIP deals and tempting inducements should be restricted.
  • Online casinos should take more responsibility when it comes to protecting at-risk gamblers. The report suggested simplifying the terms and conditions, so players will be able to understand them better and make well-informed decisions.
  • All gambling-related advertising should be toned down, so children and vulnerable gamblers will be protected.
  • The report also suggested that the National Health Service should include the treatment for gambling addiction.

The report is still in an interim stage, as the group has yet to meet with officials from the Gambling Commission or the Gambling Minister. Once they do, they will publish a full report. If necessary, adjustments to the initial suggestions will be made.

In Conclusion

There is no denying the fact that playing poker online is an exhilarating pastime activity, but when it hurts you in real life - you’re doing it wrong. Safe and responsible gambling is a key ingredient in a positive gambling experience, so the initiative to turn online gambling into a safer operation is always welcome.

Only time will tell if the UK government will get more involved in online gambling regulation, but hopefully, things will turn out for the best.