UKGC’s executive director, Tim Miller, said that although the majority of operators have been transitioning and working on ways of protecting their customers as well as improving relations, there are still many online operators who are not making enough effort to limit spending on their sites.
In 2019, the implementing body (FOBTs) Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, managed to introduce a £2 limit at most machines. The UKGC and FOBTs now want to further ensure that the wellbeing of the consumer is at the centre stage of the gambling industry. They are serious about enforcing a new ruling of setting a £100 per month limit on gamblers. Presently, these two UK- based bodies, who have the consumers best interest at heart, are in consultation to find a plausible way to protect the customers, without putting too much financial strain on the gambling industry.
The concerns that have come to light during the ongoing consultations with all the stakeholders, is that it is incumbent on the gambling companies to put stricter requirements and set more consistent and firmer standards in place, to ensure that the consumers best interest is always taken into account.
That being said, the UK watchdogs are open to consulting with all the relevant parties, not only the customers and companies but also other experts, who have hands-on experience. With this group of people and companies, it is hoped that they will be able to reach mutually beneficial consensus, which will allow proper procedures to protect and avoid gambling harm as well as not impacting on the entertainment and freedom of the consumer.This can be achieved if the operators are quick in taking action when identifying possible risks.
David Forrest and Ian McHale from the University of Liverpool completed a survey in 2017, which concluded that gamblers in the UK lose in the region of £100 monthly. This loss according to the study was more than what the gambler had to spend. The money that they ended up using, was in most cases intended to be used for their livelihood and family support. A staggering 21% of the people who took part in the survey, felt that not enough was being done by the gambling companies to curb the overspending.
In reality, if the proposed limit is implemented, the effects it could have on the gambling industry could be devastating. The industry's turnover yearly is more than £14.3 billion and this business employs over 100,000 employees, meaning that if the limit is set at the proposed amount, it will have a huge negative effect on the industry as well as the economy.