The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced a “package of strict measures” to be enforced as new protections and controls on online casino slots games.
The decision follows feedback from its public consultation carried out in July 2020 around “making online games safer by design” – in which the Commission reviewed the risk and intensive play elements of online slots.
Following widespread feedback, the UKGC highlighted that new controls are required to limit ‘spin speeds’, while a permanent ban will be introduced on features that “speed up play or celebrate losses as wins”.
From 31 October, the UKGC stated that licensed online gambling operators must remove all slot game technical components or features that relate to;
- Features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome
- Slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds
- Auto-play – which can lead to players losing track of their play, and;
- Sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake
The Commission underlined that the removal of autoplay and quickspin features were a necessity as slot games carried “by far the highest average losses per player of any online gambling product”.
Furthermore, all operators must display slot players their “total losses or wins and time played during any online game session”.
The Commission will also introduce a permanent ban on “reverse withdrawals” – a function which allows players to cancel their withdrawal halfway through so they are able to use the funds to continue gambling.
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UKGC, said that the regulator had taken drastic actions to remove all “intensify play” features from slots, after the findings suggested higher risks associated with “loss of player control or binge play”
“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,” he said. “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.”