New Restrictions for Online Slots

New Restrictions for Online Video Slots

Febuary 9, 2021

The gambling commission in the UK have designed new restrictions that will make online casino games safer and less intensive, and needs to be implemented by 31 October 2021.

The UK Gambling Commission has recently announced that new restrictions will be implemented to make online casino games safer and less intensive. This will include a permanent ban on features that celebrate losses as wins and features that speed up play as well as the introduction of limits when it comes to spin speeds. Online casino operators will also be required to display the total wins and losses for a player.

The UK Gambling Commission stated that online casino operators will need to implement the new restrictions by no later than 31 October 2021. The new restrictions are in response to the growing concerns surrounding online slots as these games are designed to mimic real-life slot machines that can be found in land-based casinos and betting shops.

Online slots account for more than 70% of all casino games in the online gambling industry and have the highest average loss rate per player when compared to other online gambling products, according to the UK Gambling Commission. Canadian players will be greatly affected by the new restrictions because most of Canada's best online casinos are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. There's also no doubt that the new restrictions will bleed over to other gambling commissions across the globe in the near future.

Get Ready for a Shake-Up

Online video slots are dominating the spending habits of players in the United Kingdom when it comes to gambling and the same can be said for Canadian players. The British public spent more than £2.2 billion on online video slots in 2019 and some researchers have indicated that the United Kingdom now accounts for roughly 15% of these games.

The UK Gambling Commission has already repressed the fixed-odds betting terminal, considered one of the biggest cash cows for bookmarkers, which allowed players to play casino games in betting shops. This time around, the Commission has decided to target the online equivalent. The new restrictions are aimed to remove the power that addictive casino games currently have over players and to provide customers with more opportunities to rein in spending.

Gambling regulation in the United Kingdom seems to be heading for a shakeup and it's safe to say that the Canadian gambling market will experience the same. The UK Gambling Commission has previously been criticized by numerous MPs for being ill-equipped and toothless to cope with the online shift. At the end of January, the UK government announced a meeting on how the regulator needs to be funded and acknowledged that it was a small organization that needs to police an enormous industry.

A significant test is on the horizon later this year as there are discussions of a ban that will take place on gambling companies who sponsor the shirts for darts and football players. This will inevitably be an unpopular move as both the sports authorities and gambling companies have become reliant on the income from sponsorships.

Reversal of Withdrawals

Another substantial change on the horizon is the ban on withdrawal reversals. This is essentially a feature that allows players to re-gamble their winnings accumulated from online casino games that was previously part of a withdrawal request. Evidence indicates that the feature to reverse withdrawals poses a risk for online players as it acts as an impulse to continue gambling.

Furthermore, the slot features that will be more closely monitored and removed have been associated with loss of player control, the intensity of play, and binge play. The government welcomes the new restrictions as it will introduce better protection for players and help eliminate the intensity of online gambling, reducing the risk of harm created in the online gambling industry.