Public Consultation into Slot Design Launched By UKGC

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The Gambling Commission in the UK has launched a public consultation into slot design. The objective is to gain a better understanding of how to protect vulnerable players.

The Commission have put forward a number of proposals which they believe will help mitigate harm caused by excessive slot play.

Since most activity in online casinos is on slot games, the Commission have singled out this category of games. They plan on putting in measures to safeguard vulnerable players. This consultation is the first step in this process.

Read the full release by the Gambling Commission.

Challenged Gambling CEOs – Online Slot design

The Gambling Commission challenged gambling CEOs in October 2019 to “develop bold and effective methods to making slots games safer for consumers.”

As a result the industry came back with the following:

i. a reduction in game cycle intensity by implementing a minimum game cycle, and removing features
designed to make play faster such as turbo or slam-stop.

ii. the removal of split-screen slots games, which have been associated with intensive play and highlighted
as a potential risk.

In a well thought out series of questions the Gambling Commission have requested the following feedback.

Questions and Feedback on Online Slot Design – UKGC

Is the wording of the slots definition sufficiently clear?

Do you agree with the proposal to limit the number of slot games that can be played to
one per account at a time?

Are there any unintended consequences of this proposal that you wish to make us
aware of?

How long do you estimate implementation would take?

Do you agree with the proposal to introduce a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds for
slots?

Do you agree that the wording of the requirement accurately reflects the intention?

If there is an expected cost to this proposal, how much do you estimate this to be?

Do you agree with the proposal to prohibit features designed to deliberately speed up
play, provide consumers with an artificial illusion of control, or encourage dissociation
from playing the game itself?

Do you agree with the proposal to prohibit auto-play on slots?

Do you agree with the proposal to require returns below or equal to total stake, to have
no sounds or visual effects that are associated with a win?

Do you agree with our proposal to require net position to be displayed at all times within
a slots gaming session?

Do you agree with our proposal to require the elapsed time of slots gaming session to
be displayed at all times?

Do you agree with our proposal to permanently ban reverse withdrawals for all
consumers?

Operators have already implemented this change as a result of the Commission’s
additional guidance May 2020. Have there been any unintended consequences of this
change that the Commission should consider?

Operators have already implemented this change as a result of the Commission’s
additional guidance in May 2020, although we are aware that some operators would
need to make further technical changes to make this permanent, and to remove all
visibility of the earlier function from their systems. How long do you estimate complete
implementation would take?

If there is an expected cost to the implementation of these proposals, how much do you
estimate this to be?

Conclusion

All in all, the final recommendations once the public consultation has been considered are likely to change online slot games on UK regulated sites quite substantially.

It is something we will be keeping an eye on in future.

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