Did you know you can walk into a betting shop in the UK and drop £100 on a single bet at a fixed-odds betting terminal? It’s true. Unlike in North America where betting is limited to casinos (and sometimes bars depending on the state), the UK has tons of betting shops at street level that you can walk right in and place a bet at.
Recently, 93 councils across England and Wales asked for the highest possible wager to be reduced £100 to £2. A proposal was submitted for review, but news out of the UK last week reveals that the proposal has been squashed.
Punters will be able to place a £100 bet without issue, but for any bet over £50, gamblers will be required to interact with an actual human being before placing the wager.
Many argued, and continue to argue, against the £100 wager limit. Some believe, and rightly so, that it’s possible to bet up to £18,000 an hour at a fixed-odds betting terminal.
Fixed-odds betting machines is essentially like playing online casino games, but in a live betting shop. You can step right into a street-level betting shop and place a bet on a virtual roulette game whenever you like.
While we understand the desire to reduce the maximum bet at fixed-odds betting terminals, it’s tough to agree with it given the UK’s stance on online casino gambling. The United Kingdom regulated online casino gambling, sports betting, and online poker. That means it’s perfectly legal to place bets, and it’s perfectly legal for regulated sites to operate from the UK.
At online casinos like Silver Oak Casino, you can place £100 bets at the roulette tables, or at Blackjack, or pretty much any other game for that matter. So for the government to say, “Hey, you can only place £2 wagers live and in person, but feel free to place £100 wagers online” just doesn’t make sense.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not proponents of gambling beyond your means. At Silver Oak Casino, we believe that you should play within your means and never bet above your head. But we also believe in a level playing field for the entire industry, be it online casinos, land-based casinos, or betting shops.
That said, perhaps the live betting world needs mechanisms in place to help people control their problem gambling. Online at Silver Oak Casino, you can set your betting limits to something that you’re comfortable with. If you feel that you’re betting too much, we can lower your betting limits per wager, per week, or even per month.
What’s more, we automatically restrict the value of weekly deposits you can make. Unlike live betting or the wagering options available with fixed-odds betting terminals, we have a limit on how much spend in a set period of time.
Perhaps a hybrid approach is needed. Rather than have people bet with cash, have them fund a betting card. If they go beyond a certain amount, they’re cut off. This is a simple approach that could easily be implemented if the UK government truly believes in making sure people don’t lose their shirt – or their house. Unfortunately, we’re not entirely sure they do.