The British Gambling Commission has released a report assessing the early effects of newly introduced regulations for online slots, implemented in November 2021. According to the regulator, there is “some evidence” indicating a reduction in play intensity as a result of these new protections, while also highlighting the absence of any unintended consequences.
UK Gambling Commission’s Slot Reforms: Positive Impact and Ongoing Monitoring
In 2021, the UK Gambling Commission implemented new restrictions to enhance player protection. These measures included banning autoplay, reverse withdrawals, features that accelerate gameplay, and spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds. Additionally, sound effects or visuals that misrepresented a win below the original stake were prohibited, and operators were required to display total losses and session duration transparently.
After analyzing over 18 months of data, the Gambling Commission’s report draws several conclusions. These findings are based on information gathered from the quarterly Online Tracker gambling prevalence telephone survey.
The report indicates that there is “some evidence” of reduced play intensity in slot games, while players’ enjoyment remained unaffected. It also found no increase in betting amounts in response to the spin speed limitations. Furthermore, the survey results suggest a decrease in simultaneous gambling on multiple games or tabs.
“Despite the cap on maximum spin speed, the proportion of high-value stakes decreased in the months following the changes, and the number of sessions lasting over an hour also decreased. Overall, general engagement with slots increased during the same period.”
Tim Miller, the Director for Policy and Research, expressed satisfaction with the assessment results:
“Our evaluation of the changes to online slots games has demonstrated reduced play intensity without significant negative impacts on gameplay or behaviors. While this is positive, we remain vigilant and will continue monitoring this specific sector for any unintended consequences or non-compliance.”