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UK to Liberalize rules for Land-Based Gambling Venues In Light Of Online Growth



The UK government has announced plans to relax regulations for traditional gambling venues like casinos, bingo halls, and arcades in response to the rapid growth of online gambling. Minister Stuart Andrew outlined these liberalizing steps in a written statement to parliament, emphasizing the need to update “the outdated and overly restrictive regulations” that currently govern land-based gambling, according to Reuters.

Key changes include lifting the ban on direct debit card payments at gaming machines, reflecting the increased shift towards non-cash transactions. Alongside this, enhanced player protections will be introduced to maintain responsible gambling practices. Additionally, select casinos will be allowed to expand their offering of machines, and certain arcades and bingo halls will be able to host more high-stake gaming machines.

The government will also implement a 15% increase in the maximum fees that local authorities can charge for gambling premises licenses, updating fees that have remained unchanged since 2007. This adjustment aims to better support licensing authorities and ensure adequate regulation and oversight of gambling venues.

These reforms follow last year’s overhaul of online gambling regulations, which introduced new stake limits and stricter affordability checks to combat problem gambling. The latest measures are intended to support the competitiveness of land-based gambling establishments while safeguarding vulnerable groups and enhancing regulatory frameworks.

Based in London, Natasha is a former sports journalist with experience working for some of the biggest athletes & brands in the world of sports and iGaming.

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