Stricter Measures Announced by UKGC

‘UKGC Announces Strict New Measures to Help Protect Casino Players!’ (image source: unsplash.com)

To make online casino games safer and to provide better player protection, the UKGC announces strict new measures which iGaming operators must comply with by the 31st of October 2021. As the strict new measures are compulsory, live casinos in the UK gambling market will quickly adjust casino software to adhere to the new rules!

The UK Gambling Commission, the regulatory authority that oversees gambling, has implemented these measures to strengthen the protection and controls of those that frequent online casinos and play online slot games. Measures include reducing the speed of spins and permanently banning features that increase the speed of play or treat losses as wins.

After consulting with players, industry insiders, online gambling operators, iGaming developers, and stakeholders, the UKGC has decided to implement measures that will reduce the intensiveness of video slots, make them safer, and give more control to those playing them.

Online slots are responsible for the highest average losses when compared to any other form of online gambling. The commission believes this is due to the speed of the spins and the intensity of the games.

UKGC Announces Strict New Measures for Online Slot Games

Come the 31st of October, all slot games at online casinos will have to adhere to the strict new measures or face the consequences.

Four of these measures directly ban the following features regularly found on video slots;

  • Any feature that increases the speed of play or incorrectly gives the illusion of control over the outcome of a spin
  • Slot spins that provide a result in less than 2.5 seconds
  • Auto-play features which allow players to set a specified number of automatic spins
  • Sounds, animations, or other imagery which celebrates or alludes to a winning spin which is actually a losing spin which returns less than the stake used for the spin

Other measures include forcing operators displaying the length of time a player has been playing and statistics that show their wins and losses for that session. Finally, reverse withdrawals are no longer allowed. Previously, a customer could request a withdrawal at a casino but request to reverse the decision and instead play with that money.

New Regulations Split Opinion

These new regulations have pleased certain quarters, namely organisations opposed to online gambling or those aiming to reduce gambling addiction. The removal of auto-play features is one of the more popular decisions. Evidence has shown that these features allow problem gamblers to gamble on other activities simultaneously. Removing reverse withdrawals also helps to remove the temptation for players to continue gambling.

The long-awaited governmental review into online gambling was widely expected to bring regulatory changes. Expectedly, iGaming operators have long been against the plans. Some major online gambling firms have even gone as far as using various approaches to show their opposition to such moves. A few even used an industry commissioned dossier to argue that tightening regulation will only lead to more punters being forced into black market betting – an argument quashed by the UKGC.

These moves follow the banning of credit cards as a form of payment at online gambling platforms and stricter verification processes which were both implemented in October 2020. The UKGC has clearly decided to tackle the issues of problem gambling, especially during uncertain economic times in the United Kingdom.

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