A leading gambling industry regulator is set to take a closer look at the design of your favourite online slots titles, following an announcement this week.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched a public consultation on the subject of the design of online slots games. The aim of the consultation will be to gather public views on how to provide for more protection for vulnerable online slots players.
The UKGC has already set out a variety of proposals in this area, as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle gambling harm and improve the quality of customer responsibility in the industry. These include new controls which aim at reducing the risk of harm associated with playing the most intensive online slots. The proposals are also focused on ensuring that operators take greater care of their players.
In a statement announcing the consultation, the UKGC said that they were aware that the success of many modern gaming technology companies, games industry digital content creators and other gaming machine software designers depends on the ability to create and then to maintain the engagement of their players, and that this principle applies across online, real world and mobile slots.
“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.”
The statement adds that the UKGC are focused on slots because this area of the gambling sector is the largest, judged by Gross Gambling Yield figures. Although the number of online slots players is proportionately small compared to other forms of gambling, the UKGC point out that the nature of online slots brings together a variety of features that increase the intensity of online play. The result is that online slots are seen to carry a relatively large risk. The UGKC also say that this is reflected in the rate of online slots players who develop gambling problems.
Based on the statement, it also seems that the UKGC’s proposals are only the first stage of their efforts to ensure that players remain safe, and they urged slots developers to show more commitment in their efforts to innovate in the area consumer protection. They also emphasised that there was a significant need for regulatory engagement, and that this would continue:
“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.”