Tighter UK Gaming Regulations Set to Cut Casino Profits

Casinos and lawmakers are at odds again over a new set of gaming regulations that experts predict will cut industry profits considerably. The restrictions include a reduction in the maximum bet that players make on fixed-odds machines. This law originally set to hit casinos hard in April, 2019, is now scheduled for enactment in October. It’s one of several changes that are in the works to curb losses at UK casinos.

With a reduction in the maximum bet changing from £100 to £2, casinos are scrambling to find other ways to increase revenue they’ll lose on the fixed-odds terminals. William Hill casinos is planning to shut 40 percent of its shops, cutting annual company revenue by 100 million. The casino and its competitors are eyeing international expansion in other markets, such as the United States. and Canada. However, the U.S. is tightening restrictions, as well. Unless something changes, a new ruling restricts interstate gambling in the U.S. This change will certainly influence casino owners who consider expanding in new markets.

In the future, the UK is also looking to curtail credit card use. Casinos accept more than 20 percent of online casino deposits from credit cards. Banning credit card use for gambling would affect billions in casino revenue across the UK. Individual banks have preempted government intervention by offering the option to shut off gambling for credit cards within mobile apps. Lloyd’s of London, Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland are a few banks who are working to curb casino spending.

Tougher identification verification is in the works. GameStop, an organization that helps gambling addicts recover, sounded the alarm that a percentage of the 50,000 addicts who use the service are still able to gamble online by using alternate user information. Gambling regulators are responding with ID verification, stopping people from gambling with fake credentials.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are planning to offset the lost tax revenue from casinos with a 21 percent levy that is another blow to casino owners. Changing regulations will cause casinos to find alternate options for gamers who just want to have fun, but protect consumers who are not able to control addictive behavior.