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The UK Gambling Commission has released a report highlighting the impact of design changes implemented in 2021 on online slots. The findings are particularly relevant as the regulator prepares for upcoming consultations on slots as part of the white paper initiative.

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In October 2021, the Gambling Commission introduced a series of measures aimed at enhancing player protection. These measures included prohibitions on features that accelerate gameplay or create the illusion of control over the outcome.

Additionally, sounds or visuals that give the impression of a win when the actual return is equal to or lower than the stake were also banned. The report provides insights into the consequences of these changes and coincides with the UK stakeholders’ review of online slot design, which was promised in the recently published white paper. The white paper itself proposes modifications to online slot stake limits, subject to further consultation.

According to the Gambling Commission, the design changes have resulted in a decrease in play intensity. While there was some evidence of reduced play, there was no corresponding increase in betting activity in response to the limit on spin speeds.

The report further revealed that following the implementation of the changes, there was a decline in the proportion of high-value stakes and a decrease in the duration of gaming sessions lasting over an hour. However, overall engagement with slots increased during the same period. The Gambling Commission emphasized that there was no evidence of a significant, negative impact on the enjoyment of gamblers.

Another notable finding was a decrease in simultaneous gambling on multiple games or tabs. Additionally, survey responses did not indicate any harmful unintended consequences resulting from the design changes.

Tim Miller, the director of policy and research at the Gambling Commission, expressed satisfaction with the reduction in play intensity, considering it a positive outcome. However, he stressed that the regulator would continue to closely monitor this specific segment of the industry for any unintended circumstances or non-compliance.

Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is a regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the gambling industry in the United Kingdom. Established under the Gambling Act 2005, the commission’s role is to ensure that all gambling in the UK is conducted in a fair and open way, and that vulnerable people are protected from harm.

The UK Gambling Commission is widely regarded as one of the most rigorous and effective gambling regulators in the world, and its actions have a significant impact on the way that the industry operates in the UK.

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