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UK Stake Limit Changes: Coming in September 2024


Author: P J
Published: 24/04/2024

The government is taking strides to reduce problem gambling and we’ve seen a few changes in recent years, including a ban on credit card gambling. One of the biggest changes, however, is the reduced stake limit, which we discussed last year.

Originally mentioned in a 2023 white paper, this change is set for September 2024. So, what will change, and how will that change impact the industry?

Regulatory Changes coming to the Gambling Industry

The Stake Limit Change

From September, UK players will be limited to maximum slot spin bets of either £2 or £5. The former applies to all players aged between 18 and 24, while the latter is for players aged 25 and over.

Operators have 6 weeks to implement these changes but are encouraged to prepare now and ensure they are ready by the end of the year. Estimates suggest that the gambling industry stands to lose around £166m per year, although that’s still a fraction of the estimated £3.2 billion that online slots generate every year.

Will the Stake Limit Reductions Change the Way People Play Slots?

Some slots require players to bet above a specific stake to qualify for progressive jackpots, but that stake is usually £2 or less. Other than this, it’s hard to imagine that these changes will be too complicated for slot developers to implement, and as the majority of players don’t bet near those £2/5 limits, they shouldn’t be affected either.

It will be a substantial difference, though. While many players opt for the lower end of the stake range, most slots have maximum bets of £100 to £500, so the new stake limits will be a fraction of the current ones.

The Upsides

Problem gambling is a big issue in the UK. It ruins the life of the person with the issue, and it also impacts their friends and family. It is very easy for problem gamblers to get carried away and start chasing losses by wagering increasingly higher sums of money. As of September 2024, they won’t be able to do that.

It’s also worth noting that we already have minimum slot spin speeds, so it’s not possible to turbo spin or stop-spin like it used to be. This probably won’t stop problem gambling, but it means problem gamblers could lose less money and have more of the time they need to come to their senses.

The Potential Issues

Besides the slight loss in gambling revenue, one of the biggest issues with stake limit reductions and other regulatory changes is that they could force high rollers to look into alternative options. Some campaigners are concerned that regulatory changes like this are driving players toward unregulated online casinos.

After all, casinos are only required to abide by these rules if they are actually licensed in the UK. If they are licensed with an overseas authority, one that assumes more of a relaxed role when it comes to problem gambling, they don’t need to set such stake limits.

It will also change loyalty schemes and VIP programs. As things stand, many casinos offer their VIPs the chance to play higher stake slots and reward them when they do. Those programs will require a rethink, and while the average player won’t notice a difference, high rollers certainly will.

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