The current regulations stem from the Gambling Act of 2005, passed by Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. Watson will call those laws “unfit for the digital age.”
In his proposals, Watson will want to put a limit on the amount and frequency of maximum bets, specifically in a move to bring online limits closer to those recently set for physical fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
He’ll also call for operators to put in a system to verify players aren’t playing with money they don’t have. This is something that has been proposed before by the Conservative government when they considered banning the use of credit cards as a payment option, for the same reasons.
Although the ideas might be popular with both of the major parliament parties, the bill does have opposition. The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has come out against the bill, saying it could drive some bettors to international sites that are less regulated.
“The online environment has the huge advantage of providing a complete overview of player spending patterns and behaviours, using this information can prove to be a more effective and more sophisticated way to tackle problem gambling and thereby avoid arbitrary limits that risk driving customers to the unregulated and illegal gambling market,” said RGA in an statement.
Britain has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world, which currently generates US$6.25 bullion) in revenue, according to the UK Gambling Commission.
Source: GMB / Calvin Ayre