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Gambling Legislation in the UK: Ministers Considering Maximum Stakes and Banning Free Bets

The UK is considering updating its 17-year-old gambling legislation to address addiction concerns. Ministers are currently debating maximum stakes between £2 and £5 for online casinos and a ban on free bets. Gaming companies could also be required to remove features from online games that increase the level of risk for customers, such as quick games where customers can lose money faster.

Online gaming sites may be required to check if their players can afford to play. This is, so the players don’t spend too much money. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other cabinet members must approve the final decision within the next week.

Analysts interviewed by CNBC have praised the planned legislation, saying it isn’t as stringent as previous versions that had been blocked. According to Jefferies’ James Wheatcroft, investors may be relieved that the planned legislation isn’t more restrictive. According to the Wednesday note to clients, the most significant aspects are “relatively benign” and can be expected to have a limited financial impact on the sector. At 9:08 a.m., 888 Holdings Plc shares increased 4.9 percent in London trading, Playtech Pld rose 0.2 percent, and Flutter Entertainment Plc advanced 0.8%. Entain Plc was up 0.1 percent at 9:08 a.m.

According to a source, the government plans to reduce restrictions on physical casino operators. This will allow them to have up to 80 gaming machines in their casinos. The government will also allow casinos to offer credit to wealthy foreign tourists. This is so that the casinos can compete with internet gambling firms. Rank Group Plc, which owns casinos in the United Kingdom, has gained 3.3 percent due to this news.