Autoplay On Slots Banned By The UKGC

Article Updated On 2nd February 2021

Online gambling continues to come under review and today The UK Gambling Commission have announced new measures that must be implemented with respect to slot play. After consultation with the public, players and gambling industry The UKGC have come up with a series of requirements that will make "online casino games less intensive, safer by design and hand players more control over their gambling". These new rules need to be fully implemented by operators by the end of October 2021.

UKGC Announces Slot Changes

As of November 2021 the following will be banned from all online slots: features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome, slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds, Auto-play and sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake. These features have been associated with "increased intensity of play, loss of player control, or binge play" so removing them should - in theory - give players more control over their wagering and game play. We understand that players won't be able to wager on more than one slot at a time too.

Display Total Losses Or Wins

As well as the above steps other changes must also be implemented. Operators must clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session. Additional The UKGC 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. These are tough measures but in our view fair and helpful towards the player. Whether they will have the desired effect on reducing problem gambling remains to be seen.

Implementing these requirements shouldn't be too difficult for operators as it should simply be down to updating backend code. Although we wonder what will happen with slots hosted on a European brand where the rules may differ? Could slot operators decide - like some casino brands - that pulling out The UK market may actually be an easier or more cost effective option. That said the new guidelines aren't as draconian as many initially anticipated. Some industry obsevers anticipated that The UKGC would implement a maximum wager per spin rule like the one that exists for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Limits on monthly wagering based on affordability was also postulated.

Consumer Protections

The latest rules for slot operators follows on from other recent implementations by The UKGC. Back in April 2020 gambling using credit cards was banned and improved customer interaction practices were introduced. VIP schemes were the next aspect of gambling that came into the spotlight and new rules to "stamp out irresponsible ‘VIP customer’ practices" came into effect in October 2020. At present there's yet another consultation on customer interaction currently underway and the results of this is anticipated later this year. We wonder whether this one will introduce a monthly wagering limit?

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