The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that on July 9th it started a consultation on changes to the design of online slots machines as part of its efforts to make them safer for British players. Now, the gambling regulatory body is seeking public input on the matter, as it would like to know the opinion of as many people as possible how to ensure greater protection from gambling-related harm that could be inflicted to more vulnerable consumers from online slots.
The consultation that was officially opened yesterday on the gambling watchdog’s website is especially focused on online slot games design, with the UKGC aiming at reducing the intensity of online play and providing local players with more thorough information about slots. The Gambling Commission revealed that the consultation will be available for the public on its website by September 3rd.
The interest that the UKGC has in online slots, and online slot game design, in particular, is mostly because these games have been known as major contributors of online gambling companies’ revenue.
The British gambling regulator has revealed that another reason for its considerable interest in the online slots’ design was the fact that these games are usually played with a high average spend. Apart from that, some slots’ features, such as frequency of betting opportunities, speed of play and other factors, could add up to a significantly increased intensity of play, which has been considered to post higher risk for fuelling gambling addictions.
As shared by the UKGC, the proposed changes unveiled in its consultation are set to help regulators reduce the risks faced by slots players in the UK.
Several Expert Groups Already Recommended Some Limits to Be Imposed on Online Slots Games
As mentioned above, online slots are the biggest online gambling product by Gross Gambling Yield (GGY). Although there are relatively few people who play them, the games usually involve a high average spend – a trend that could considerably increase the intensity of play.
Recently, the main gambling regulator in the UK has published the results of the consultation on a number of aspects of consumer protection that had been held with several working groups. As a result of the consultation, the groups recommended a minimum speed of slot game spins to be set at 2.5 seconds. Furthermore, they believe that features that accelerate gameplay must be eliminated. Games that allow players to enable multiple stakes on different slots must also be banned, according to the groups that took part in the Gambling Commission’s consultation.
The recommendations of the experts that participated in the previous consultation of the local gambling regulator went even further, as the groups suggested that the UK lawmakers and watchdogs should consider putting limits on stake and prize size, as well as imposing mandatory time limits on gaming sessions on slots.
Proposals that are expected to be made in terms of the slot games’ design is just another step of the UKGC’s strategy aimed at keeping local players safe.