UKGC Imposes New Rules for Online Slot Games
If you gamble overseas or at real money online casinos regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, then you may see some changes in the near future. The Gambling Commission has completed a review of the 2005 Gambling Act and made some changes. Most of these changes impact online slot games.
These new rules will impact how online slot machines operate for casinos that remain licensed by the UKGC. So if you’re in the UK or play at casinos licensed by the Gambling Commission, pay close attention.
New Regulations Force Changes to Online Slots
Earlier this month, the UK Gambling Commission announced multiple changes that they claim will “strengthen the protection and controls for those who gamble through online slots.” As the Commission points out, online slot games have the highest average loss amongst UK online casino players. The new rules will help to mitigate some of these losses.
The new rules require the following changes to online slot machines:
- Elimination of any feature that speeds up gameplay or gives the play an illusion of control over a spin’s outcome.
- Autoplay features are now banned.
- Sounds or imagery that makes it appear that a player has won when in fact they have either broken even or have received a return lower than the initial bet.
- There must be a 2.5 second delay between spins on all slot games.
There are additional changes that must be instituted by real money online casinos. These include the following:
- Slot games must display the total win or loss during a session.
- Withdrawals can no longer be reversed. Once a withdrawal is requested, a player is not allowed to play with that money.
Online casino operators that are licensed by the UKGC must fully implement these changes by October 31, 2021. Failure to do so will likely result in sanctions and even a revocation of license.
New Rules Address Some Problems With Online Slots
These new rules from the Gambling Commission do address several key problems presented by online slots. For starters, eliminating features that give a false illusion of control is great for transparency and eliminating a lot of myths associated with playing online slots.
Eliminating autoplay will definitely help to decrease the amount of money spent per house by players. Forcing a 2.5 second delay between spins will also help players to spend less while playing online slots.
The part of these changes we like most is the one that forces games to do away with imagery that makes players think they have “won” on spins that don’t even break even. That’s one complaint we’ve had about some slot games from Real Time Gaming and some other companies. Many “winning” spins don’t even break even. This will highlight this fact even more to players and let them see how some games really are not worth playing.
How Will This Impact the Industry?
We will definitely see changes at certain online casinos over the next few months. What will likely happen is that some casinos will quit offering services to the UK and abandon their UKGC license. Other casinos will go out of their way to make the changes to retain their UK customers.
Other casinos may start eliminating certain games that will become less profitable once these changes allow players to understand what they are playing. This could be a good thing as we get games that offer better payouts and a better overall experience to players.
Ultimately, it may help certain problem gamblers that stay hooked due to some of the now-banned features. The more that casinos can combat problem gambling, the better the experience for everyone involved.