UKGC Tightens the Noose on Slots with Poker Left Unscathed

UK Gambling Commission


The online gambling world is ever-evolving, and UK bettors know this quite well. Recently, the UK Gambling Commission announced new updates on the 2005 Gambling Act. Although some may seem unfair, this is part of a broader scheme to make UK gambling safer and more responsible. The new rules introduce spin speed limits and a permanent ban of features celebrating losses as wins and speed up play. Let's have a clearer look!

UKGC Tightens the Noose on Slots with Poker Left Unscathed

What's in it for slots?

As said at the beginning, the new regulations mainly target video slots. According to the UKGC data, video slots dominate the online casino activity with a whopping 70% share. Their research shows that punters used at least £67 per month on video slots compared to £45 on sports betting and £36 on other online casino games. With these astonishing numbers in mind, it's obvious why the body wants to put stricter rules on video slots.

Below are the new regulations for slot games:

  • There should be a minimum of 2.5 seconds between spins.
  • Slots shouldn't have features that give players an illusion of control over the game's outcome or speed up play.
  • Introduction of a permanent ban on any Autoplay feature that can lead to punters losing track of their play.
  • Ban on sounds or images that give players a winning illusion when, in fact, the return is below or equal to the initial stake.
  • The casino operator should display information about the player's total wins or losses and time played during a gaming session.
  • The casino operator can't offer reverse withdrawals. In essence, players can't request a withdrawal, then cancel it before the money returns to their accounts.

A quick recap on VIP account measures

It's important to remember that in November 2020, the UKGC announced new rules to reduce VIP gambling or make it more responsible. According to the new regulations, a player will need to prove that they can sustain VIP gambling's high-roller experience. This includes the player's ID and source of income. Interestingly, the casino operator will have to determine if the player has any history of gambling-related problems or addiction before giving them a VIP status. Overall, these new rules should make UK gambling more responsible, depending on how you look at it.

How are online poker and other casino games affected?

Fortunately, online poker fans have nothing much to worry about here. However, the Autoplay feature ban could have a significant impact on a player's spending habits. That is made worse by the recent VIP account rules, as discussed above. But if you look at it closely, it's definitely great news for those who know how to manage their bankrolls. Simply put, the latest rules don't dramatically affect the UK gambling scene.

When will the new regulations come into play?

The announcement of this new set of rules is further proof that the UKGC is committed to setting up a fair, transparent, and responsible UK gaming scene. As said, it's a continuation of the September 30, 2020 VIP account rules. The body expects casino operators within its jurisdiction to fully implement these rules by October 31, 2021.

Sports betting sponsorship under scrutiny

In December 2020, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports said that it's considering banning gambling adverts on soccer shirts. Remember, almost 50% of EPL teams wear jerseys with gambling logos. The figures are even higher in lower leagues at 70%. Other nations such as Spain have already taken such steps. In the UK, certain government officials have criticized this move because of its severe financial replications. So, it's only a matter of wait-and-see.

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