UKGC launches public consultation on slot design

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched a public consultation into online slot design, aiming to gain public views on greater protection for vulnerable players.

The UKGC has outlined a series of proposals, including new controls aimed at reducing the potential for consumers to be harmed by their gambling on the most intensive products, online slots, and removing the ability of operators to reverse customer withdrawal requests.

In a statement the UKGC explained: “ We know that the success of many technology companies, digital content creators and gaming machine games designers depends on their ability to establish and maintain the engagement of their consumers on their web, mobile apps and – in premises – gaming machines.

“We also know that speed of play, frequency of betting opportunities, as well as other factors on offer to players can increase addiction and risk of harm. The proposed changes outlined within this document will help to mitigate these risks for slots players.

“Our interest in online slots is because it is the largest online gambling product by gross gambling yield – played by relatively few but with a high average spend. Structurally it has a number of features which can combine to significantly increase intensity of play.

“This means it poses a relatively high risk, reflected in its associated problem and moderate-risk gambling rates.”

Moreover, the UKGC emphasised the proposals are ‘just the first step’ in their efforts to keep players safe.

The statement continued: “Slots is an area which has seen technological innovation in terms of product design and we expect operators to continually show an equal, and indeed greater, commitment to innovate in terms of consumer protection.

“Regulatory intervention needs to keep pace with this and the proposals in this consultation form part of a comprehensive package of work we are taking forward to make online gambling safer.”

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