Credit checks for online players on cards

online gambling

online gambling

Online gamblers may face credit checks to ensure they can afford their losses according to a long-awaited gambling white paper to be unveiled on Thursday.

The plans are designed to counter the dangers associated with the rise of mobile phone gambling, a phenomenon which has been described as ‘the casino in your pocket’.

In addition, the Government will consult on plans to impose a new maximum stake for online slot machines of £2 for under-25s.

For those over the age of 25, the maximum bet can go up to £15. No decisions have been made.

Additionally, gambling companies could be forced to pay 1% of their revenues to help fund treatment for addicts.

This will raise more than £100m a year and some believe it could become a hypothetical levy for the NHS to fund addiction education, treatment and research.

But the betting firms point out that the government will actually unveil a new tax just four days after Rishi Sunak attempted to restore the Conservatives’ relationship with the bosses at his new ‘Business Connect’ forum.

Controls could prevent financial ruin

Activists say affordability controls could prevent people from suffering financial ruin.

It is understood ministers are looking into a lightweight model, which would see betting companies carry out credit checks when customers lose a certain amount.

Government sources insist people will not have to hand over their payslips or bank documents as part of accessibility checks.

Instead, they’ll be “frictionless,” more like the credit checks that happen when people take out cell phone contracts, for example.

Ministers should ask the Gambling Commission for advice on when to carry out such checks. An early draft of the white paper suggested doing this for players who lose £1,000 in one day or £2,000 in 90 days.

Most of the measures contained in the White Paper will be subject to consultation, giving rise to fears that the matter will be pushed into the tall grass.

More government-run safer gambling campaigns are possible

Other possible changes are measures to slow down online casino gaming and more government-run safer gambling campaigns.

There may also be looser restrictions for high street casinos.

Limitations on digital marketing, such as promotions sent to customers offering “free” bets or bonuses, should also be investigated further.

The Department of Health should also take responsibility for safer gaming messages, which are currently overseen by the industry itself and the charity GambleAware.

While ministers hope to impose stricter limits on online gambling, land-based casinos will see regulation relaxed.

Smaller casinos could be allowed 80 gaming machines, up from 20, while more upmarket venues could offer credit to overseas gamblers.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of campaign group Clean Up Gambling, said: “While reports would suggest it is likely to include much of what we’ve campaigned for, such as stake limits and a statutory levy, it would be a ‘opportunity wasted if on advertising and marketing’.

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