New UK gambling regulations - Time to worry?

Gambling casino tables
16th May, 2024
Simon Colmenares Author Profile Photo Simon Colmenares

New Gambling Regulations in the UK: Interview with Steve Ashwell

In this interview, guest author Steve Ashwell has agreed to answer questions from our editorial team - what is happening in the UK gambling market and the current regulatory situation.

Our editorial team is aware of a lot of news about the tightening of laws in the UK for both players and operators and today we will discuss this with Steve, who is the author of NonGamstopCasinos.net. This portal informs players about all available platforms for UK players, including unlicensed UKGC.

About Gambling Regulation in the UK

Editorial: Steve, why has the offshore market become so popular in the UK, as you have a large number of licensed giants operating in your country - both casinos and betting?

Steve: Back in 2005, a new law came in that really shook up the industry, and the regulations have been getting stricter every year.

Player limits. Initially, there was a limit of just over £5, which was a big blow for high rollers who like to bet big. And this year, in 2024, the UKGC introduced even stricter limits: a maximum of £2 per bet for people under 24 and £5 per bet for anyone 25 and older.

Editorial: And has it made a big impact on the gambling industry in the UK?

Steve: Absolutely. Imagine you're doing something you love and suddenly you're told you can't really do it anymore. In the UK, we have loads of people who love gambling, and the £5 limit is a big deal.

So, it's no surprise that more and more people are turning to international casinos and bookmakers. These offshore sites licensed in places like Curacao, Malta, and the new Anjouan don't have these limits. They offer bonuses and have VIP sections, which makes them much more attractive.

Editorial: That’s quite interesting. What are the main challenges that UK-based operators are facing due to these new regulations?

Steve: The biggest challenges are compliance and keeping customers. Operators have to spend a lot to meet UKGC standards, like strict player checks and responsible gambling rules. Meanwhile, they find it hard to keep customers who prefer the fewer restrictions of offshore sites.

Players’ Reactions To The Regulations

Editorial: How are players reacting to these tighter regulations?

Steve: Many players are frustrated. High rollers especially feel restricted by the betting limits. Because of this, a lot of them are turning to independent platforms that offer more freedom and better incentives. Overall, players think the regulations are too strict and not what they want.

So, I am sure that players will increasingly move to other gambling markets - European, American, and others. There, they will have more freedom - fewer betting restrictions, more bonuses (including free spins), and less strict KYC checks compared to the current UK regulations.

Editorial: Are these regulations effectively achieving their intended goals?

Steve: It's a mixed bag. On one hand, the UKGC aims to protect vulnerable players and promote responsible gambling, which are noble goals. We have some initiatives like Gamstop, GamCare and others to help people who struggle with gambling addiction.

However, the strict limits and heavy-handed approach are pushing many players towards unregulated markets, which can be counterproductive. The challenge is finding the right balance between regulation and player freedom.

Editorial: What role does technology play in helping operators comply with these regulations?

Steve: Technology is crucial now in the UK. Advanced software solutions for player monitoring, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and responsible gambling are now standard in the UK. These tools help operators track player behaviour and ensure they adhere to the regulations.

However, the costs of implementing and maintaining these technologies are significant. Taxes for gambling operators increasing, along with contributions to various funds for responsible gambling matters.

The Future Of The UK Gambling Market

Editorial: Looking ahead, what do you foresee for the future of gambling regulations in the UK?

Steve: I think regulations will keep getting stricter, but there will also be efforts to find a better balance. The UKGC might create more nuanced rules that protect players without pushing them away. There could also be more collaboration with international regulators to ensure a level playing field.

Editorial: What advice would you give to UK gamblers navigating these regulatory changes?

Steve: Do your own research and choose platforms carefully. If you prefer the flexibility of offshore casinos, make sure they are reputable and have good reviews - at least.

On my website, my team and I review various international gambling sites - casinos, bookmakers, and more. So you can always reach out to us.

Editorial: Finally, can you share your thoughts on the rise of offshore markets and their impact on the UK gambling scene?

Steve: Offshore markets are definitely shaking things up. They offer an alternative that many UK players find appealing because of fewer restrictions and better incentives. However, this also raises concerns about player protection and regulation. The UKGC needs to address these issues to keep everyone happy - players, gambling operators, and the government alike.

Editorial: Thank you, Steve, for your insights. This discussion has been very informative about the UK gambling market.

Steve: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure discussing our gambling problems in the UK with your team.

16th May, 2024
Simon Colmenares