Betting Shares fall after MPs call for Online Slots Limits

Gambling companies and their shares are very susceptible to even the subtle changes in the public sentiment. Not surprisingly, when members of the parliament come up with bold statements and announce radical changes, shares move wildly in one direction or the other. This is precisely what happened this week when the most important betting companies in the UK took a hit. This occurred in the wake of the MPs call for setting a limit on the maximum bets accepted by online games.

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Combating a public health crisis

The decision was justified by the members of the parliament who claimed that it is currently battling a public health crisis of gambling addiction. This looks like a very serious threat and the regulators will have to consider the proposed bill seriously before making a decision. The recommendation to limit the maximum bet to £2 was made by the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary group. This organization has highlighted the potential dangers of allowing punters to bet larger amounts on slots.

Online games in general’s and slots in particular are immensely popular in the UK and more people than ever before enjoy them over the Internet. You can find a list of slot sites with reviews using comparison sites. If this recommendation comes into effect, and those who play these games won’t be able to bet larger amounts. The limit was not set arbitrarily, but it is in fact in line with the maximum amount allowed on slots in land-based casinos. By comparison, punters can bet thousands of pounds from their mobile devices in a matter of minutes, hence lose sizable amounts.

The precedent of fixed odds betting terminals

The reason why the betting shares fell after the members of the parliament announced their intention is that there is a precedent. Fixed odds betting terminals were targeted by similar measures and if the political will exists, radical changes could be just months away. Regulators seem determined to go after an industry they compared to an unregulated Wild West, in an attempt to mitigate the risks. 

Gambling operators are rather concerned about this decision, because they know how serious the impact of the FOBT limitations was. They were compelled to focus more on maximizing their online revenues, which could now be targeted by this project. Many online betting brands were already affected and their shares dropped double-digit numbers days after the announcement. The fact that the members of the parliament came up with a specific number signals their commitment to implement this measure.

One of the direct consequences of limiting the maximum number of bets is that punters will no longer be able to chase their losses. Progressive systems, such as the martingale will become unfeasible, so in theory, players should lose less money during losing streaks. The Gambling Commission also came under fire for failing to propose similar changes, and choosing to simply fine some gaming companies. The latter argue that such limitations can determine punters to gamble elsewhere, potentially leaving regulated gambling operators for unlicensed companies.

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