Tombola have always been one of the first movers in the industry when it comes to responsible gambling safeguards, so it should come as no surprise that the company has recently announced to players that it is going to set a mandatory loss limit of £500 per month on all customers.
How it will enforce this is via a monthly net deposit limit of £500, which comes into force from 1st May 2021.
What is a monthly net deposit limit?
A net deposit amount is the difference between your total deposits and your total withdrawals each month.
Example: If you have deposited £300 this month and have withdrawn £150. Your current net deposit amount would be £150. This means you can only deposit £350 more that month (taking it to the £500 limit) unless you make another withdrawal.
This new rule tecnhically puts a cap of £500 on how much money you can lose within each calendar month and encourages players to withdraw. If you have deposited £500 but not withdrawn, then you will be unable to make further deposits to your account that month.
This would equate over an entire year to a maximum loss per player of £6,000.
Weekly Deposit Limit Also Cut By 50%
In addition to the monthly net deposit limit, from 26th April 2021 tombola have introduced a new weekly limit of £250. Previously this figure was £500.
Judging by responses on tombola Facebook groups, the majority of players are happy with the changes and understand they are to help reduce the more significant losses that players can occur on the site. However, it hasn't stopped some 'high roller' players from being upset that once they've spent £500 that's it for their tombola game play until the following month.
Shortly after the weekly deposit limit was cut, an email announcement was sent to all tombola players which said: "In reducing the site wide deposit limits this week, we have noticed an unintended consequence in that players are now less inclined to withdraw their winnings."
"This is something we actively promote as part of our safe play approach and therefore we are bringing back the £500 weekly deposit limits from Saturday 1st May 2021."
"In addition, we're launching a new site wide weekly net deposit limit of £250 and a new site wide monthly net deposit limit of £500 at the same time. A net deposit amount is the difference between your total deposits and your total withdrawals each week or each calendar month."
I must admit I am confused by this message as it says the weekly deposit limit is £500 but also there is a net deposit limit of £250? It doesn't make sense to me.
Will other brands follow?
It's no secret that at the moment the government is considering changes to the Online Gambling Act and one of the proposed changes is to set a mandatory loss limit on all operators.
If a £500 net loss limit was applied to all sites, as I mentioned this would mean the maximum operators could earn from one player per year would be £6,000. This is likely to be unsustainable for the big bookmakers, who have punters who regularly bet that much on a single event. But for bingo, it doesn't seem an unreasonable stake to place the limit at.
Even so, the debate will go on about what level the government should take in dictating how much a citizen can choose to spend of their own money on gambling.