Sign up for our daily e-mail newsletter

Got a story? Email us:


15 C

Game Machines Given Nod To Go Cashless By UK Government


In yet another move towards a potential cashless society, the UK government has indicated some flexibility on how cashless payments for gaming machines would be implemented, not requiring a specific method, leaving the UK gambling arena open to increase cashless payments. 

The UK government has addressed a report from the DCMS committee regarding gambling regulation, affirming that it won’t mandate a specific payment method for machines. According to the government, the choice of payment method for machines isn’t specified in the relevant regulations and will remain unchanged, regardless of the potential introduction of direct debit card payments for gaming machines.

At present, gaming machines can accept cash as well as direct debits, such as via tickets and mobile applications. However, many online casinos, including those on this list of casinos not on GamStop, have long been early adopters of new advances in payment, such as e-wallet and even cryptocurrency which has become an increasingly popular choice for many British gamblers. However, the method of payment can’t take all the credit for the success of non-GamStop casinos. They also attract big crowds thanks to their having fewer restrictions, often bigger bonuses, and more variety of online casino games. 

When it comes to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, what brings in the customers is largely the same, except for the range of payment; until now, that is. The UK government is now preparing to release its comprehensive response to a consultation on traditional in-person gaming outlined in a white paper, which includes these all-important proposals for cashless gaming. This response is distinct from the feedback provided on a report by the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee regarding gambling regulation, released in December 2023.

- Advertisement -

In terms of monitoring the impact of changes in the brick-and-mortar gaming sector, particularly the increased availability of Category B machines, the government plans to utilise various methods, including statistics from the Gambling Commission.

The government has already commenced collecting detailed data to gain insights into player behaviour across different types of machines. This data is proving to be valuable in understanding player behaviour, and the government intends to request such data from the industry on a regular basis.

The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee expressed support for using cashless payments on when it comes to gambling machines but stressed the importance of retaining the option for players to use cash if they prefer. Only time will tell what the outcome of this is. 

Regarding current regulations, the committee acknowledged that with the rise of online gambling, certain restrictions may be less relevant than when the 2005 Gambling Act was enacted. The committee deemed the proposed reforms outlined in the white paper as appropriate but emphasised the necessity of closely monitoring their impact, particularly concerning those machines in like likes of pubs and other high-street businesses. 

Furthermore, the committee also welcomed the proposal to allow local authorities to employ cumulative impact assessments (CIAs) when dealing with gambling premise license applications.

- Advertisement -

There has been a significant decline in cash usage over the past decade. In 2012, cash accounted for 54% of payments in the UK, a figure that dropped to just 14% by 2022, as reported by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Several reasons contribute to this shift. Contactless payments and online banking have emerged as more convenient alternatives, offering speed and ease of transaction. Additionally, digital transactions are perceived as more secure, with a lower risk of theft and fraud compared to carrying physical cash. The various worldwide lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 further accelerated the transition, as concerns about hygiene prompted a preference for cashless transactions.

Despite the decline, cash still holds relevance for many in the UK. Some individuals rely on cash due to factors such as financial inclusion, privacy concerns, and preferences for budgeting. There’s also a noticeable age gap, with younger generations favouring cashless methods while some older individuals continue to prefer cash transactions.

The approach of the UK government reflects a balance between promoting innovation and ensuring financial inclusion for all citizens. While not actively advocating for a cashless society, measures have been taken to maintain access to cash. For instance, in 2023, regulations were implemented to guarantee free access to cash withdrawals and ATMs within reasonable distances, especially in rural areas.

Looking ahead, the UK is likely to witness a continued decline in cash usage, although cash is unlikely to disappear entirely. The focus may shift towards facilitating a smooth transition, providing options for both cash and cashless transactions to accommodate varying preferences and needs.

Spotted something? Got a story? Email our newsdesk

Read more from Gedling Eye

Get your daily news briefing every evening…

Sign up for our daily news email and receive Gedling borough news direct to your email inbox in the early evening, to read at your leisure on your desktop, tablet or mobile wherever you are.

We don’t spam and you'll only receive one email a day

Join the discussion


Stories you may have missed...