New Regulatory Changes for Slots in the United Kingdom

New Regulatory Changes for Slots in the United Kingdom ( Click to Enlarge )

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has passed a set of changes on their requirements for slots. These are by far the most comprehensive changes for slots ever seen in the industry. Operators and software providers will have until October to be in compliance with these changes.

Major Slot Regulatory Changes in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is known for having the strictest and most serious regulatory guidelines for online gambling in the world, and we’re seeing another example of that yet again. They have announced some key changes to how these games have to be operated.

Overall, these changes are a positive for players. However, many may be upset with some of them in the short-term.

Something interesting can happen when you do something that’s in the players’ best interests. Sometimes they will not be happy with the changes just because it’s something different. However, the players inevitably get on board after a period of time. We suspect that may be what happens with these changes.

Ultimately, players won’t really have a say in these changes, so it doesn’t really matter. However, if you are a player seeing this with reservations, give it a chance anyway. You will most likely find that these adjustments don’t really change things for you in a negative way and that they actually improve things for you quite a bit.

The Nature of the Changes for Online Slots

A handful of changes are being announced that are specifically for online slots. First up is that slots can be played no faster than one spin for every 2.5 seconds. It’s unclear if this applies to situations where players get multiple “spins” per turn like with avalanche or Rolling Reels types of features. Along with this, players cannot have options to speed up play beyond this level.

The second change, and the one we think will get the most complaining from players, bans auto-play options. No option to automatically play the games can be available on any level with these new rules.

Another major change is that the games can no longer present a spin as if there was a win if the net profit for the spin was negative. Imagine you make a spin for €1 and pick up a payout of €0.75, for example. The display for that payout cannot make it appear as if you scored a win on that spin. That’s an understandable adjustment since it can be a bit misleading if you aren’t familiar with how things work.

Finally, during all online slots sessions, certain pieces of information must be displayed for the players. This includes the total profit, positive or negative, for the session. It must also include the amount of time that had been spent on that particular session. These are obviously in place for the protection of the players.

Another Important Change

Along with all of this is one more change that’s not specific to slots. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has completely banned the practice of what’s known as reverse withdrawals. This is a practice that allows players to essentially cancel withdrawals to play with those funds.

Most industry experts will agree that reverse withdrawals need to go, and we don’t really expect players to complain either.

Overview of These Changes

Some of the UKGC’s decisions on changes have gotten a lot of criticism as missing the mark. However, we think that most of the changes for this set of adjustments will be well-received overall.

With that said, we think the speed of play issue may just lead to players going for higher stakes. If you play at half the speed for double the stakes, you’re wagering the same amount. All that really changes is the volatility for all intents and purposes.

We’ll have to see what happens with that point and the auto-play issue in particular. Some players will definitely not be too happy about it, but we don’t think it’ll become a major issue.


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