Gambling in the UK is set to undergo a massive change in April, when the maximum bet on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) will be reduced from £100 to £2. But changes could even be applied to online gambling if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour secures victory at the next eneral election, whenever that may be.
Initially the change on FOBTs was to be implemented in October this year, but after pressure from ministers, that was brought forward to April. The reason for the change is to try and reduce the number of problem gamblers and the levels of debt that they incur from playing these games, as it is felt that such terminals allow players to lose too much too quickly.
They are however, a good source of income for bookmakers, with around £1.83 billion in profit coming from such machines in 2017, which was a 74% rise on the £1.05 billion of profit generated in 2009. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that without limitations in place, they can be highly damaging to people’s lives.
Labour’s recent announcement will increase the range of games that will be looked into, and both online casino games and video games will be investigated. How much you can stake in online casino games and the pace of play will be looked into, while loot boxes are the main source of problems in video games. Loot boxes are packs which can be purchased with real money and contain virtual items for the game.
The issue with these loot boxes is that they are a game of chance, making them a form of gambling. Take the popular video game series FIFA, created by EA Sports. The most popular game mode is FIFA Ultimate Team, where players can build their own squads and take each other on to try and win rewards.
Players can buy packs that contain a random mix of players, items and consumables in order to help their team. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the pack will contain anything useful and if you’ve bought the pack with real money, you’ve wasted it.
The age rating for the game is three, meaning that children can play this game and can effectively gamble, especially if their parents have left their credit card details saved on the console. This is just one reason why there have been calls for further changes to be made in the gaming industry.
There are many people up and down the country who love to place a bet, whether it’s on the Grand National winner, Premier League winner or by playing a game of blackjack. For most, it is a little flutter to try and win a bit of money, or even just to experience the thrill of it. The measures that are being introduced aren’t to prevent people from playing their favourite games like https://games.paddypower.com/game/rainbow-jackpots-grt, but rather, protect those who may not know when enough is enough and to limit their losses.
When you gamble, always make sure you’re spending only what you can afford and remember, when the fun stops, stop.