The British Gaming Council (BGC) has expressed their support regarding new rules and restrictions for online slots. These measures will need to be fully implemented and take effect by the end of October 2021. The new rules introduce a complete ban on Autoplay features, reverse withdrawals, and spin mechanics faster than 2.5 seconds. On the UX side, players must have the option to turn off sounds and features that give an illusion of controlling the gameplay or predicting a winning outcome.
Perspectives aligned with future action plans
The Chief Executive Officer of BGC Michael Dugher agreed that these new rules followed the industry’s ethics code to promote safe online gaming. He further adds that these measures build on their code of conduct which was introduced in September 2020. This code explores options to modify the design of online casino games to improve players’ safety and experience.
Dugher also pointed out the ban of turbo play option which allows players to speed up games, and discard multi-slot paying options. These options were enabling players to place multiple bets on different casino games at the same time. With this measure, players can play and be active only on one game and can’t navigate through multiple tabs or windows. They’ll soon roll out a game labelling campaign that will improve the process of sorting online games and educate players on crucial game features.
Right after these measures were announced for the public, industry experts and lawyers gave their perspective regarding this big step towards control and restrictions of game features. Richard Williams, an expert in gambling and iGaming activities, agrees that the full attention is on the online slot machines. As the Government reviews the 2005 Gambling Act, he says there’s no need for a rollout of new legislations, as effective measures can be introduced through licence conditions, audits and design revisions. Moreover, he adds that slowing down gameplay might lead to more time spent online, representing a continuous challenge.
UKGC creates permanent lived experience panel on gambling harm
The UKGC has introduced a permanent lived experience panel of people that have been involved or have a secondary experience with gambling-related harm. This panel board will meet for the first time this week and aim to impact the current review of gambling legislation. A public representative said they’re pleased that UKGC has recognised the importance to listen to the public’s voice and opinion regarding harmful events caused by gambling. They appreciate their commitment, ensuring what was once an idea, is now a reality.
The panel group brings a lot of diversity, with people bringing a wide range of skills and personal and professional experience within the industry. Neil McArthur, the CEO of UKGC, said that lived experience perspectives are vital and that they already notice a positive impact in their work and initiatives to address gambling-related harm.
The Gambling Commission also published a new update regarding GambleAware’s research on deposit limits and user testing. These updates are shown in an interactive map format that points out the changes in specific spheres.