The UK Gambling Commission is pushing to be given the final say on the development and design of slot games, starting with a call for all slots games to follow the same rules, to promote safer gambling. Their public consultation started in July closed recently and was set up to gather more information on online slot design and the in-game features that they offer. Once they have analysed this data, they will set forth their conclusions and required restrictions on slot development.
Key Points from the UKGC Slot Development Research
The UK Gambling Commission began their key research and consultation into slot design with the goal of creating a set of rules for slot developers to follow that they feel will help to reduce problem gambling.
Slot game features, as part of this research, are assessed as well as other slot game factors that influence and decrease safe gambling practice for players. This would include looking at the frequency of betting opportunities and the speed of play in slot games.
Why are Slot Games Being Targeted?
Why are slot games and not, for example, bingo games being targeted you may ask? Online slots are the biggest online gambling product by quite a distance and have the highest gross gambling yield. These games, according to the UKGC, have a high average spend, despite being played by fewer people. They have noticed that there are certain features which increase the intensity of the gameplay and can make players more susceptible to problem gambling.
The Commission felt that with new slot game designs constantly being improved and developed, it was important for them to be able to keep pace with these design changes and ensure the online gambling space remains a safe place to play.
What Changes Can We Expect for Slot Game Development?
In the 2020/2021 Business Plan, it was confirmed that there would be a new code for slot game development and that compulsory safety features would be a requirement. Some of the compulsory rules that we could see include:
- The removal of turbo buttons and slam stops as they can encourage concentrated gameplay.
- There will be no split screen slot game designs as these have been linked to players losing control of the game.
- The minimum spin speed in all slot games will be restricted to 2.5 seconds.
- A Betting and Gaming Council Testing Lab will be formed to look into other game features.
These new rules are expected to be published this month.