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Government to introduce £2 limit for digital slots - report

(Sharecast News) - The government is poised to announce strict maximum stake limits for online slot machines, it was reported on Thursday, in a blow to the gaming industry. According to The Guardian, the government will on Friday announce a £2 maximum stake for under-25s, and £5 per spin for people over that age.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport declined to comment on the report.

A proposed limit on online slot machines, similar to the one introduced in 2019 on fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBT), was first mooted in last year's white paper on gambling reform.

Since publishing the paper, the government has been consulting on a limit of between £2 and £15. It is estimated that setting the limit at the midway point of £8.50 would cost the industry up to £185m.

Industry operators have fought against strict maximum stakes, with one source also telling The Guardian that two limits would further ramp up costs.

According to figures from the Gambling Commission, online casinos generated revenues of £4bn in the year to March 2023, £3.2bn of which came from slots.

Gambling campaigners, however, argue that both FOBT and online slot machines are considerably more addictive than other forms of betting.

The Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs an all-party parliamentary group on gambling-related harm, welcomed the £2 limit for under 25s. But she told The Guardian it should be extended to all ages.

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