UKGC introduces enhanced protection package for online slots
the UK Gambling Commission detailed a series of strict measures that must be implemented by operators, with the aim of strengthening protections and controls for those who play via online slot games.
These include the introduction of limits on spin speeds and a permanent ban on features that speed up play or celebrate losses as wins, which must be fully implemented by online operators by October 31. 2021.
This follows consultation with the public and players, the gaming industry and other stakeholders, subsequent measures to make online casino gaming less intensive, safer by design and to give players more control over their game.
“Today’s measures will help reduce the intensity of online gambling, introducing greater protections that will reduce the risk of harm from gambling,” Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritagesaid presentations.
“I welcome the strong measures of the Gambling Commission as we continue our comprehensive review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age.”
The regulator says it has focused on slots because they “have by far the highest average losses per player of online gambling products” and include features which the UKGC says increase the intensity of the game and the corresponding risks for the players.
The new rules include outright banning features that speed up the game or give the illusion of controlling the outcome; slot machine spin speeds are over 2.5 seconds; autoplay, which she says can cause players to lose track of their play; and sounds or images that give the illusion of a win when the return is actually equal to or less than a bet.
In addition, a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals will also come into effect, and operators have been advised that they must clearly display total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session to players.
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commissionexplained: “To make online gaming safer, we are introducing a ban on features that speed up gameplay or give the illusion of control over the outcome.
“We are also introducing a ban on autoplay, losses disguised as winnings and slot spin speeds greater than 2.5 seconds. Evidence shows that these features increase the risk of harm to customers.
“This is another important step in making the game safer and where the evidence shows there are other opportunities to do so, we are determined to seize them.”