The UK Regulator Introduces New Online Slot Restrictions
February 4th, 2021 1.00pm
The UK Gambling Commission has announced a new set of restrictions, primarily aimed at increasing online slot players’ safety. According to the country’s gambling watchdog, the new measures will offer enhanced protection and give players more control over their games.
The UKGC will now be able to permanently ban features that speed up the gameplay and those that celebrate losses as wins. In addition to this, the new set of restrictions will enforce limits on spin speeds.
Increasing Players’ Safety
The UKGC has revealed all the changes after thorough consultations with representatives of the gambling industry and members of the public. Under the provisions of the new regulations, gambling operators will be obliged to enforce restrictions to increase player protection. The goal is to make online casino games safer and, but also to allow players to have more control over the games they enjoy.
Many online slot features increase the intensity of the gameplay. That’s why the UKGC believes this also significantly boosts the risk to customers. That’s why the regulatory body has paid particular attention to online slots. Recent studies have shown that digital slots are online casino products with the highest loss rates per player on average.
According to the November 2020 report that measured gambling behaviour among Brits in the last year, an average customer in the UK spent £36 on online casino gambling every month. Those who placed bets on real events spent £45 monthly, while the average monthly spending on online slots was £67.
The said report also revealed that British online operators generated less revenue despite the rise in the overall gambling activity.
Banning AutoPlay, Speed-Up Play, Misleading Imagery and Sound Effects
The recently announced set of measures will ban online gambling operators from using four key features that were very common in online slot games. First of all, games will no longer be able to have any sort of feature that speeds up the gameplay, as the UKGC believes this creates an illusion that players have control over the outcome of a spin.
AutoPlay features will be banned too, as players tend to lose track of their game time when using this option.
The UKGC has banned the use of spin speeds exceeding 2.5 seconds. Lastly, online gambling operators won’t be able to use misleading imagery or any such sound effects. In some games, these imagery and sounds lead players to believe they’ve won when, in fact, their return is equal or smaller when compared to their bet.
Following a consultation, published by the UKG in July last year, additional research revealed that the AutoPlay function, a regular part of most online slot games, has been linked with a rise in problem gambling. By using this function, players lose track of the play, and later he difficulties stopping playing altogether.
But that’s not all the UKGC has prepared for use, as the regulator announces additional changes.
The UKGC has imposed a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals. This function essentially allows players to spend the portion of their funds they had already requested to withdraw. In addition to this ban, all online gambling operators will have to display their customers’ total losses and winnings clearly. This information will be available throughout an online slots session.
The gambling regulator once again pointed out that all online gambling operators doing business in the UK must implement these changes until October 31, 2021. In the meantime, the UKGC continues to proved important information about the nation’s online activity amidst the ongoing health crisis.
The new restrictions will prohibit the use of certain features.