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UK gambling laws are about to change! Is it good or bad?

Many countries around the world have pretty outdated gambling laws that don't address the various issues online poker brings to the table. Multiple countries, like the UK, tried to rectify the situation by changing the laws – and some do that more successfully than others.

Back in 2020, the British government set out to change gambling laws that affect live and online poker rooms, but unpredictable circumstances prevented that from happening – until today. What changes await poker players in the UK? And what exactly happened these past few years? Find out all about the past, the present, and the future of poker in the UK right now!

How UK Gambling Laws Are About to Affect Poker Sites

In 2020, Oliver Dowden, who then acted as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports – got the ball rolling by stating that UK gambling laws should be "fit for the digital age".

But while his intentions were good, he wasn't able to achieve the desired changes before he was no longer in office. Since then, multiple politicians tried to move this project along, but it took three years before the efforts began to bear fruit.

Now, the UK Gambling Commission finally published the latest Gambling Act Review with subsequent advice that hopefully will help transform the gambling industry into a better environment for players.

Generally speaking, most of the proposed changes address the issue of safe gambling. First and foremost, the government is planning on allocating funds for research and treatments of gambling addictions, in addition to enabling better regulation to tackle illegal gambling - all good.

The Gambling Commission is also planning on requiring operators to identify and take action when it comes to financially vulnerable customers. That includes the following:

  • Setting stake limits for online slots – right now, live venues have a slot gambling limit of £2, and it seems as if online venues might be subjected to the same limits.
  • Ensuring bonus offers and incentives don't lead to harmful gambling.
  • New safety measures will strive to protect 18 to 24-year-old players who show signs of developing a gambling problem. Moreover, the government is planning on closing loopholes that allow underage teens to gamble online.
  • Providing players with frictionless protection checks that won't interfere with their gambling experience while implementing thorough ID verification processes.
  • And lastly, providing the UK Gambling Commission with the extra power to stop unlicensed operators.

How the World Reacted to the New Gambling Laws

In an official statement, Gambling Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes said: "…The review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver positive change for gambling in Great Britain and for all people impacted by it."

And while the Gambling Commission is optimistic about the upcoming changes, not everyone is as quick to believe that the gambling industry is heading in the right direction. For example, poker pro - Joe Beevers - tweeted: " It's fair to say that those writing and making the decisions do not understand the subject matter. Grade F, please try harder."

On the other hand, at least one parent company of online poker sites has issued a statement that supports the UK White Paper, stating that this is an opportunity to raise standards and make responsibility a priority in the industry.

In Conclusion

So far, the Gambling Commission only gave a rough outline of what the new laws might look like. At the end of the day, nothing is official yet, but hopefully, things will start moving faster now that the government is more stable. Let's hope that online poker becomes safer for UK gamblers so players can continue to enjoy the game with minimal worry!