Following calls for further restrictions on the gambling industry in the UK, the Gambling Commission has announced tough new legislation to make online casinos safer.
Research shows that 20% of people have gambled at least twice in the last week. Although most of these were small bets, such as the National Lottery, the rates of gambling addiction are going up and it’s estimated that this problem costs the UK £1.2 billion per year.
In the last decade, online casinos, and especially online slots games, have become a dominant niche in the gambling industry. According to the Gambling Commission, it’s estimated that the UK now accounts for 15% of these varieties of games globally.
The public spent £2.2 billion on online slots in 2019. And, the Commission’s crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals has failed to address the issue as these games have now moved online instead, which is fueling people’s addiction further.
What are the new restrictions?
The new restrictions on online gambling aim to make the games less intensive to reduce the risks of becoming addicted to them.
After concerns being raised over online slots, which are designed to mirror real-life slot machines in casinos and betting shops, online providers will be required to implement new rules on their platforms by 31st October at the latest.
Some of the measures include limits on spin speeds and a permanent ban on features to speed up the game. Additionally, websites will be required to display the player’s total wins or losses for the session in a clear and visible way.
Another rule that could potentially be introduced would be banning reverse withdrawals. This tool currently allows customers to re-gamble funds that they had asked to withdraw.
Slot games have the highest average losses per customer by far. Because of this, the Commission says providers have a responsibility to make them less appealing to those at risk of addiction and financial problems.