(CNBNews)(Jan 11, 2021)---2020 has seen considerable changes in UK gambling regulations, with more expected to come next year with the revision of the UK Gambling Act. The UK is one of the most heavily regulated gambling markets in the world, which comes with both positives and negatives. Considering that gambling regulations are different in most states across the US, and the ban on sports betting was only lifted in 2018, we take a look at three things in particular that US states could learn from the UK sites regarding gambling regulations.
Strive for consistency
The UK Gambling Commission does a fine job of regulating the UK's gambling industry and ensuring sector-wide regulations are met. However, in the US, there is no such nationwide compliance with statutory regulation, and gambling is managed on a state by state basis. For example, in Nevada, the gambling capital of North America, it is legal to play only poker online. In comparison, in New Jersey, online casinos feature poker rooms as well as other online casino games. Such inconsistency makes it difficult for gamblers to understand the rules and regulations, and if the US would strive toward consistency in the gambling industry, it would significantly help the sector to develop.
Prohibit gambling with a credit card
Although some of the new gambling regulations imposed in the UK recently have been met with some resistance by those within the sector, the prohibition of paying for bets with a credit card has been met with widespread acclaim. In the UK, too many gamblers were getting themselves in serious debt because of credit card use, and MPs recently voted to prevent online gambling sites from accepting credit cards as a form of payment. It would be a progressive step for US states to replicate this ban and ensure customers are protected from racking up debt on their credit cards.
Impose stake and deposit limits to protect vulnerable individuals
Safe gambling guidelines and tools are there to support and protect vulnerable individuals from getting into too much debt from gambling. While it's undoubtedly essential to impose deposit limits to stop people from getting carried away, a balance needs to be struck between what is safe and what is reasonable. For example, many bookmakers in the UK were understandably outraged that imposed stake limits of £2 were introduced on land-based slot machines and betting terminals. This was reduced from £100 and is causing significant profit loss in the gambling industry, with many reducing what new customer betting offers they gave out as a result. Many are predicting that something similar will be imposed for online gambling in the New Year. It would be prudent for US states to learn from the UK in this respect and ensure any deposit/stake limits are appropriate.