UKGC: Actions required for UK online slots operators

UK Gambling CommissionThe UK Gambling Commission has announced a new package of strict measures for online slots operators. The Gambling Commission stated a package of strict measures to strengthen the player protections and controls for people in the UK who gamble through online slots games. It was said that an introduction of limits on spin speeds, and additionally a permanent ban on features that speed up play or celebrate losses as wins. The Commission focuses on online slots due to its features which increase the intensity of play and the corresponding risks to players.

It clarified that Slot games have by far the highest average losses per player of online gambling products. The new slots rules include the outright ban of four key features of online slots games:

  • 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.
  • Sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake.
  • Operators must clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session.

Alongside the changes for online slots, The UK Gambling Commission has also introduced a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals for all online gambling. This function previously allowed consumers to re-gamble money they had previously requested to withdraw.

The enhanced protections will need to be fully implemented by the UK online operators by 31 October 2021.

Neil McArthur, UK Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “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 auto-play, 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.”