According to a recent report evaluating the effects of the UK Gambling Commission’s regulations on online slots, it has been found that these policies have not caused any detrimental unintended consequences. On the contrary, they have contributed to a reduction in the intensity of gameplay. The UKGC has also provided evidence indicating that there has been no noticeable increase in betting amounts despite limitations on spin speeds. Furthermore, the report highlights that these changes have not had a significant negative impact on overall player enjoyment.
In order to enhance safeguards and controls for individuals who engage in online slot gambling, the UK Gambling Commission implemented game changes in October 2021. Online slots were specifically targeted due to features that heightened the intensity of play and associated risks to players.
These changes encompassed various measures, such as imposing a limit on spin speed, prohibiting features that accelerate gameplay or create a false sense of control over outcomes, banning autoplay, and prohibiting sounds or visuals that give the illusion of a win when the return is equal to or below the stake. Operators were also required to clearly display players’ total losses or wins and time played during each online slot session.
The report reveals that after the introduction of these changes, there was a decline in the proportion of high-value stakes and a decrease in the duration of sessions lasting over an hour. However, overall engagement with slots increased during the same period, as reported by the UKGC.
Furthermore, survey responses indicated a decrease in simultaneous gambling on multiple games or tabs, and no harmful unintended consequences were detected.
The report drew upon key sources, including the regulator’s online tracker survey, which collects quarterly data from a national sample of approximately 2,000 adults aged 18 and above across Great Britain, along with an additional 1,000 individuals aged 16 and above.
Tim Miller, the Director for Policy and Research, commented on the findings, stating, “Our assessment of the changes to online slot games has shown indications of reduced play intensity with no significant negative impacts on play or behaviors.” He emphasized the importance of ongoing monitoring of this specific sector to address any potential unintended circumstances or non-compliance.