The Gambling Commission Announces More Restrictions for Online Gambling

The Gambling Commission has announced plans for new restrictions to help make online gambling safer and less impulsive. 

The new measures come on top of a slew of restrictions introduced in recent years. Of particular focus in this latest round of regulation are the online slot machines.

What are the new restrictions for online gambling?

The Gambling Commission’s new restrictions will ban several familiar features. Operators must remove features that speed up play and slot spin speeds of more than 2.5 seconds.

Currently, players can hit the spin button almost instantaneously, leaving no time for rational thought. The idea is that giving people time between spins will help them make better decisions and reduce compulsive gambling.

They will also ban auto-play features and special effects (i.e., sound and graphics) that give the illusion of winning when the person loses or breaks even. Bright lights and happy images on a loss may give the false impression of a win.

Operators will also have to show players a running total of their wins and losses during any online slot session.

Finally, there will be a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals across all online gambling platforms. This means that once a player requests a withdrawal, they cannot undo it.

All UK online casinos must put these restrictions in place before the 31st of October 2021.

Why have they introduced more restrictions?

The latest rules represent a clear attempt to remove some of the intensity and compulsiveness inherent in online gambling, and which is exacerbated in fast-paced games, such as the slots.

The hope is that by reducing the intensity of play it will make gambling safer and help to protect vulnerable players from gambling-related harm.

By focussing on slot machines in particular, the Gambling Commission is tackling the largest group of online gamblers. An estimated 70% of all online gambling transactions (excluding the National Lottery) are for online slots.

They’re also the game where people experience the highest proportion of losses – i.e., you’re more likely to lose money when you play the slots than with any other online casino game.

An image that says "Stay Safe" in an arty way - it's black lettering on pink tissue paper.