UKGC imposes new strict measures on online slots
The UKGC, or UK Gambling Commission, has imposed new bans in order to provide further protection and control over online slots games.
This decision comes after feedback rolled in from its public consultation, which was executed back in July 2020 and revolved around ‘making online games safer by design’. In this consultation, the Commission undertook a review of the risk and intensive play elements of online slots.
The UKGC announced later on that some new measures will be set to limit ‘spin speeds’ and a permanent ban will be imposed on the features that ‘speed up play or celebrate losses as wins’.
Starting from the 31st of October, the UKGC has said that licensed online gambling operators are expected to get rid of all slot game technical components or features that involve:
- Making slot spins faster than 2.5 seconds
- Autoplay – as players can lost track of their play
- Quickspin functionalities
- Gameplay sounds or imagery that give off the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake
The Commission also highlighted the fact that the elimination of autoplay and quickspin features were an important requirement since slot games hold ‘by far the highest average losses per player of any online gambling product’. Moreover, all operators have to show slot players their ‘total losses or wins and time played during any online game session’.
Aside from such gameplay alterations, the Commission will be imposing a permanent ban on ‘reverse withdrawals’, which is a feature that lets players re-gamble any money that they had already requested to withdraw beforehand.
Chief Executive of the UKGC Neil McArthur stated that the UKGC had taken dire actions to abolish all intensify play features from slots, seeing as the evidence displayed higher risks associated with ‘loss of player control or binge play’.
McArthur went on to say:
“To make online games safer we are introducing a ban on features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome. We are also introducing a ban on autoplay, losses disguised as wins, and slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds. The evidence shows that these features increase the risk of harm to customers. This is another important step in making gambling safer and where the evidence shows that there are other opportunities to do that we are determined to take them.”
Seeing as it is in charge of the UK’s gambling laws and regulations, the DCMS has approved the Commission’s new measures on online slots as a portion of its regulatory duty to upkeep and provide a ‘comprehensive programme to make gambling fairer and safe’. DCMS also applauded the UKGC’s endless efforts on further improving the safety of the online gambling industry.
DCMS Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston stated:
“Today’s steps will help curb the intensity of online gambling, introducing greater protections that will reduce the risk of gambling-related harm. I welcome the Gambling Commission’s tough measures as we continue our comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they’re fit for the digital age.”
The UKGC also mentioned towards the end of its statement that it will keep improving the customer interactions when it comes to online slots, aside from ID and player verification requirements.