Over the last few years, the UK gambling commission has put more emphasis on responsible gambling and introduced some changes in slot design and regulations. The Bingo Association and Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) produced a new list for safer code of land-based slot machines operative in the UK. The operative specifications of land-based slots are now at par with virtual slots. Since 2020 UKGC has been proactive in responsible game design, particularly for slot games. The prime reason is slot machines are responsible for the highest average player loss in contrast to other casino games. Additionally, the slot is the most sought-after casino game in the UK.
The new regulation for land-based slot machines was initiated in 2020 by UKGC to set rules regarding marketing, advertisement, VIP scheme and game design. UKGC worked with BGC to formulate new rules associated with online slots introduced in October 2021. The new set of rules prohibits auto play, 2.5 seconds minimum threshold for reel spin, the elimination of celebrating losses and exhibiting overall wins, and playing session of individual players. As per the new regulation total spin time and speed must be 2.5 seconds or above. The time is calculated when one presses the spin key and ends when won stakes are accessible, and the spin button is operative again. The scenario is always better when it comes to online crypto gambling.
Slot machines are not permitted to incorporate auto-play or turbo-play features that enhance reel speed. The autoplay feature has been disabled so the players can track their wins and losses. After the new rules, wins under the stake size must be clearly demonstrated without any celebration tunes. Only a short notification sound is permitted to make the player aware of the win. In case when a win is larger than stake size celebration tune is permitted to play, as it is not deemed to mask loss as a win.
Aimed to reduce financial loss
The gambling industry welcomed the changes as it made the player aware of the potential loss and willing to introduce further norms based on evidence to mitigate the financial and emotional harm to players. The overall response to the new rules has been positive from the industry. The norms set for land-based slots are now at par with virtual slot machines. The impact of the new regulations will be evident in future in figures showing average slot loss per minute. Over the short term, the revenue from land-based slots may reduce.
Hailed as innovative
The newly enforced law may sluggish the slot ecosystem, as the turbo feature is disabled, and manual triggering after each spin has become mandatory. All these lower the spin speed of land-based slot machines. The Gamification of win conveys a positive message to players. Now they can estimate their total spending and significantly the overall loss. UK slot and the casino industry are one of the leading gaming markets universally. The industry contributes Pound 450 million as tax to the UK government annually. The new rules are hailed as innovative, but there is a concern the safer online crypto gambling environment can increase the growth of the grey market. Another sector thinks the regulative steps are too restrictive, hampering operators, developers and players.