Slot machines under fire in the UK

Jake Graves 2 months ago
Slot machines under fire in the UK

The UK gaming industry is reporting record revenues of £15.1bn in the year to March 2023, which marks a significant growth from the £1.5bn hit during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online slot machines have been identified as a significant contributor to the industry’s success with revenues from digital slot machine games reaching a record £3.2bn, accounting for nearly 30% of the sector’s total income.

Concerns over addiction

Online slot casino products, especially slots, have contributed to record-high losses, exceeding the pre-pandemic figures.

The average spend per player on slots is £67 a month, significantly higher than other casino products or real event betting. 

These figures therefore have sparked government concerns related to gambling addiction. 

According to a 2018 NHS survey, online casino products, particularly slots, show a higher rate of addiction compared to sports betting.

Consultations 

The UK’s Gambling Commission (UKGC) is currently consulting on whether to impose limits on the maximum stake for a single spin.

This metric is not restricted for the time being with a proposed range of between £2 and £15.

The figures being reported on slot machine spending and losses are a major component for this measure.

Call for stringent restrictions

Dr Matt Gaskell, head of the NHS Northern Gambling Service has been a great proponent of the UKGC’s consultations and has emphasised the risks related to gambling by stating:

“This data confirms that the centrepiece of the gambling industry are the most harmful products. These are rapid, continuous casino products engineered to prolong play, exploit decision-making, and generate unaffordable losses. It’s a common issue in our clinics.”

Similarly, Carolyn Harris has criticised gambling companies for prioritising profit over public harm.

She has urged the government to set a £2 limit for online slots and not be swayed by industry interests stating:

“Gambling companies continue to rake in huge profit from slots which are highly addictive and causing great harm to people right across the country.”

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