UKGC announces strict player protection measures for online slots

On February 2, the UKGC announced new online slots rules to strengthen player protection. Automatic play, quick spins and reverse withdrawals will be permanently prohibited.

Permanent ban on deceptive slot machine features

Following a consultation launched last summer, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) today announced the introduction of “a package of strict measures” to slot machine games online to improve player protection protocols. According to the UKGC, some game features, such as autoplay and Fast and Unlimited Slots Spins, are misleading and reduce the control players have over their gambling habits. These options can potentially lead to customers gambling on various platforms at the same time and a higher loss rate.

UKGC said that all licensed slot machine operators will be required to implement the new rules by October 31, 2021. Common slot machine game features will be permanently banned, including autoplay, which led the players lose track of time, and spin speeds less than 2.5 seconds. Other options speed up the games and give a false sense of control on the win rate, as well as sounds or visuals falsely suggesting a victory (when the winnings fall below the amount originally wagered), will also be removed from all slots titles available in the UK.

Additional measures prohibit reverse withdrawals, an option allowing customers to play money for which they had already requested withdrawal from their player account. According to the UKGC, research has indicated that reverse pullback is increasing risky gambling behavior.

Better protections against compulsive gambling

Nigel huddleston, the Minister of Sports, Tourism and Heritage, praised the new set of UKGC rules, which, he said, “will help curb the intensity of online gambling, introducing greater protections that rreduce the risk of harm from gambling“. The government will continue to review current gambling laws “To make sure they are fit for the digital age,” he added.

Nigel huddleston, the Minister of Sports, Tourism and Heritage, praised the new set of UKGC rules, which, he said, “will help curb the intensity of online gambling, introducing greater protections that rreduce the risk of harm from gambling“. The government will continue to review current gambling laws “To make sure they are fit for the digital age,” he added.

“This is another important step in making gambling safer and where the evidence shows there are other opportunities to do so that we are determined to seize.”

Neil McArthur, Managing Director of UKGC

The UK has made efforts to change the rules on gambling activities to provide a better safer and fairer gaming environment to the players. Player protection measures have been significantly improved, with mandatory identity and age checks and one ban on playing on credit cards.

Measures on VIP accounts

In November, the UKGC has launched a consultation on operator / customer interaction, to be developed further this year. The Commission unveiled a series of new measures combat VIP abusive practices latest September, fully effective October 31, 2020.

To become a VIP player on any iGaming platform, a client will need to be approved by the operator in accordance with all of the Commission’s rules. This includes:

  • Assess whether the player can afford and maintain their gambling habits through their leisure budget.
  • Is there any evidence of problematic gambling behaviors or increased risk related to vulnerability?
  • Ensure the most up-to-date player data regarding identification, current status and source of funds.
  • Ensure that the operator has the most recent information regarding the player and that he performs continuous checks to prevent and detect harmful gaming practices.


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