The UK government is to introduce new stake limits for online slots from September as part of its white paper on gambling reform.

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A maximum stake of £5 will be set for players aged 25 and over, bringing stakes in line with casinos. However, players aged 18-24 will have a maximum stake limit of £2.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the “majority” of respondents to the 10-week consultation were in favour of online slot stake limits.

Gambling minister Stuart Andrew said: “The growing popularity of online gambling is clear to see, so this announcement will level the playing field with the land-based sector and is the next step in a host of measures being introduced this year that will protect people from gambling harms.”

GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond said its research shows a “concerning trend” with players aged 18-24 experiencing harm arising from gambling.

There will be a six-week transition period for operators to become compliant with the £5 stake limits.

A further six-week transition period will be granted to ensure compliance with the lower £2 limit.

The DCMS added that it will publish responses to other white paper measures “soon,” including the statutory levy for research, prevention and education of gambling harms.

Financial risk checks also feature in the white paper and are set to be debated in the UK parliament on Monday.

Michael Dugher, the CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council, said the new stake limits “provide enhanced protections for young people.”

He added, however, that such measures should not “come with a cost to our members and impact their customers,” urging the white paper to avoid leading customers to the “unsafe, unregulated black market online.”