Gambling White Paper Proposals: £2 Bet Limits for Online Slots


Young gamblers may face a stake/bet limits of £2 for online slot games, according to the Gambling White Paper proposals published on Thursday the 27th of April 2023.

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by Command of His Majesty, the gambling landscape has dramatically changed since the Gambling Act 2005. The aim is to make gambling laws fit for the digital age by introducing various measures and policies.

Online Slots

Online slot games feature heavily in the proposals due to them being considered a high risk product. According to the Gambling White Paper:

“Online slots have been shown to be a particularly high risk product, associated with large losses, long sessions, and binge play, but unlike land-based gaming machines they have no statutory stake limits.”

As a result, a bet/stake limit has been proposed for online slots consulting. The proposal is for a bet limit between £2 and £15 per spin. This also includes a £2-4 stake/bet limit per spin for 18 to 24 year olds or an individual bet limit based on personal risk factors. Evidence suggests that 18 to 24 year olds may be a particularly vulnerable group. Betfair Casino in the UK have already imposed £10 bet limits on all their games from September 2021.

The Government may introduce Universal Stake Limits to apply to online slots for all consumers on a precautionary basis. Whilst this measure may be easier to implement, it won’t allow for a personal response to a player’s level of risk or financial situation.

The likelihood is that tiered stake limits (known as a ‘smart stake’) will be introduced. This means that bet limits for slot games would be tiered according to the risks connected with the consumer. Stake limits could be raised or removed when said customer completes an initial financial vulnerability assessment or enhanced assessment of financial risk and affordability.

Furthermore, the Gambling Commission will review and consult on updating design rules for online slots. This will include the speed of spins, illusion of player control and intensifying features which can increase risk. They aim to make online slot games safer by design to prevent potential harm.

Affordability Checks

The other big talking point about the Gambling White Paper revolves around affordability checks. The Gambling Commission will consult on background checks at moderate levels of spend. It will also include looking at higher levels of spend which may indicated harmful binge gambling. They are proposing that checks should take place:

  • once a consumer loses £125 within a month or £500 within a year
  • proposed thresholds of £1,000 net loss within 24 hours or £2,000 within 9 days

On top of this, they propose that the triggers for enhanced checks should be halved for 18 to 24 year olds due to evidence on increased risk. That said, the Gambling Commission estimate only around 3% of online gambling accounts will be affected.

Bonuses + Direct Marketing

Whilst advertising and other areas are being looked at by the Gambling Commission, they recognise the risk that online bonus offers can present. This is especially focused on consumers who are experiencing harm. With restrictions on marketing and promotional offers already available, the UKGC will undertake a review of incentives including free bets and bonuses. This will include looking at re-wagering requirements and minimum time frames for customers to claim bonuses.

Also mentioned was the practices around online VIP schemes. The UKGC want to ensure they are not used to exploit at-risk gamblers. However, they did state that the number of customers on these schemes has declined since measures were introduced in October 2020.

To be clear, the above are proposed changes and are subject to further consultation.

Premier League


Earlier this month, Premier League clubs have agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from matchday shirts by the end of the 2025/26 season. The Premier League has become the first sports league in the UK to take this voluntary measure in order to limit gambling advertising.

However, gambling companies can feature in other areas including shirt sleeves and advertising hoardings beyond the 2025/26 season. At the time of writing, 8 out of 20 Premier League teams are sponsored by gambling companies. This is worth an estimated £60 million per year.

Chris Taylor
Review by
Last updated: April 28, 2023

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