Customers of PokerStars who reside in the United Kingdom and Ireland will be exempted from a young-depositor cap being introduced by Stars’ parent Flutter Entertainment as a social-responsibility measure. The new monthly deposit cap of £500 per month for under-25 players is designed, in Flutter’s words, to “further enhance protections for younger customers and encourage sensible spending across its platforms.”
PokerStars, however, is the exception to what is otherwise a company-wide institution of the new cap. Flutter’s new young-depositor restrictions will impact gamblers on the company’s Paddy Power, Betfair, and Sky Betting & Gaming brands in the UK and in Ireland.
Flutter has positioned the young-depositor limit as part of its new “Affordability Triple Step” framework. Flutter claims the risk-based framework will use real-time data to monitor player activity and behavior. The £500 monthly cap isn’t quite an absolute, but young bettors wishing to gamble higher will have to clear additional background checks.
Research has shown online poker slightly less addictive
While all forms of gambling can lead to addictive behavior, PokerStars’ exemption from the Flutter-wide cap may have its roots in various studies showing that online poker is somewhat less addictive than other gambling forms. The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) performed detailed research late last decade, showing the relative addiction levels of various gambling forms, as reported by admitted addicts. Online poker fell well down the list, trailing even live poker.
Studies conducted in Ireland and Australia in recent years have shown similar results. The overriding indicator for addiction in all the studies has been a gambler’s willingness to wager in multiple activities — sports betting, lottery, video terminals, and others.
Preventing younger depositors from developing such addictive behaviors, while at the same time learning bankroll responsibility, is part of the initiative’s thrust. Flutter also cited its own research showing 77% of its customers approved such a cap. For those under 25 (who would be directly affected), approval was at 78%.
Yet PokerStars could still be brought under Flutter’s young-depositor cap. Flutter may also expand the cap to other jurisdictions, depending on its popularity and success. “We will be sharing the learnings with other divisions and brands across the business,” a Flutter spokesman told Poker.org, “so that they can consider the nuances and plans for an implementation that works best for that brand.”
Featured image source: PokerStars