The Gambling Commission has been making some important changes to the gambling industry recently, designed to protect players from harm. This includes banning the use of credit cards on online casino sites and preventing players from cancelling withdrawal requests.
Now, it’s clear the GC has its eyes set on slot games too as it has proposed the banning of autoplay and quick spin features on all online slots. This would make every single wager on a slot game require deliberate interaction and force players to watch the full animation, slowing down the rate that they are spinning and spending.
A commission spokesperson has said “[the speed at which players can spend] poses a relatively high risk, reflected in its associated problem and moderate-risk gambling rates.”
They continue, “speed of play, frequency of betting opportunities, as well as other factors on offer can increase addiction and risk of harm” indicating that slot games are a particular source of gambling related harm.
A recent Commission report shows that despite a 1.2% decrease in people gambling between April - May 2020 compared to the previous month, the gross gambling yield (GGY) for slots games was a whopping £184 million in the same period, up 9%. For reference, all other casino games only earned £77.9m in the same timeframe, a 1.2% increase. The GC has clearly determined a link between slots features and high spend.
These proposed changes follow the creation of three industry groups by the Commission back in January. Each group was tasked with making gambling safer, tackling problems with advertising, VIP schemes and the products/games themselves.
However, the group in charge of identifying harmful elements of products was criticised for falling “significantly short” of its goal, and the Gambling Commission took over.
When we see these proposed changes enforced, if ever, is currently unknown. Last year, MPs called for a mandatory £2 stake limit on all online games, which has also yet to be enforced by the GC.