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UKGC announces major changes to online slot machines

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is implementing a new set of regulations aimed at slowing the frantic pace of online slot machines. Regulators are concerned that pandemic-era players are at risk of losing control (and piles of cash) as they endlessly spin virtual slots that draw them into a state of distraction.

The new changes were announced in a statement on the UKGC website and imposes an outright ban on features that speed up play and those that make players think they’re winning when they’re really not winning at all. Online operators that offer slot machine play will be barred from implementing, “features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome; slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds; auto-play – which can lead to players losing track of their play, and;
Sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake.”

Operators will also be required to continually post the amount a player has won and lost, as well as a complete ban on reverse withdraws.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive commented on the new slot machines rules saying, “To make online games safer we are introducing a ban on features that speed up play, or give the illusion of control over the outcome. We are also introducing a ban on auto-play, losses disguised as wins, and slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds. The evidence shows that these features increase the risk of harm to customers.

“This is another important step in making gambling safer and where the evidence shows that there are other opportunities to do that we are determined to take them.”

Online slot machines operators are required to comply with the new rules by October 31, 2021.