New Rules Allow UK Casinos to Expand

The UK government is set to relax regulations for brick-and-mortar casinos, allowing them to expand gaming floors and accept cashless payments, including debit cards. These changes come as part of efforts to give physical casinos a competitive edge against online gambling operators.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published a report on May 16 outlining the new regulations. The report allows cashless payments for casino, arcade, and bingo games and sets the minimum age to play these games at 18.

The proposed regulations will enable businesses to increase the number of gambling machines they operate. Additionally, the maximum licensing fee will rise by 15%. In a statement to Reuters, the government said, “Together we believe these measures will support the land-based gambling sector and modernize the current outdated restrictions, as well as helping to protect young people and supporting licensing authorities.”

The popularity of online gambling continues to rise, increasing the use of gambling apps. This trend has led to greater exposure to online gambling, with even traditional games like Skee-Ball getting a Las Vegas-style upgrade. In the US, companies like Dave & Buster’s and Lucra Sports have announced projects to add “gamification software” to enhance customer engagement.

Lucra Sports avoids using wagering language, describing their software as offering “real-money contests or challenges” not subject to traditional gambling regulations. This approach allows companies to maintain customer interest by offering betting opportunities that provide exclusive rewards to members.

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Currently, gaming machines can only offer cashless options through third-party mobile apps and special tickets issued specifically for the machines. The new regulations aim to simplify and modernize these processes.

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