A new code of conduct was unveiled last week that will change up gameplay for fans of slot games. The changes are effective in all slot games playable in the UK from today, September 30th 2020.
The code will slow how fast you can spin the reels of online slots down to once every 2.5 seconds in order to prevent harmful habits forming in players.
It will also ban the popular ‘turbo play’ option, which allows you to speed up games, as well as ‘multi-slot play’, where you can play multiple games at once.
Introduced by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), these changes are intentionally targeting the aspects of the game that make it easier or faster for a player to continue playing beyond a safe limit.
How will it affect players?
Essentially, as a casual player, you might not notice any difference. But if you are a player that likes a quickfire slot experience, you might notice your gameplay will be slightly slower paced as you hit play to spin. It will more closely resemble the experience of using a real manual slot machine in a casino – retro!
The immediate response of the play button was originally built for players who prefer not to watch the reels spin as they play and would rather find out if they’ve won instantly. The benefit of this was that you could get more done and place more bets during your time in the game.
However, this instant gratification has potential to become addictive and harmful. That’s why the BCG has stepped in with these changes. This will ensure that, by the end of the month, all slot games in the UK will be limited to 2.5 seconds between spins, meaning you won’t be able to hit the spin button again to stop the spinning and immediately wager again.
Change is always good?
The group in charge of the decision, the BGC, was set up last year by some of the UK’s biggest operators, and advocates for safer gambling through the initiative of a code of conduct for the industry.
The BGC said it is working with “academics, regulators, consumers and individuals with lived experience of betting-related harm” in order to develop best practices for game design going forward. The BGC’s goal is to ensure that betting shops, casinos and online gambling sites are maintaining a code of conduct when they are marketing their products, and to ensure that the products themselves are not harmful.
This code of conduct was the product of a gambling commission workgroup set up in January to determine how gambling products can be safer. This group, which included game publishers Playtech and Scientific Games, published a report suggesting this code back in April, with the industry agreeing to adopt the changes by September.
The initial suggestions also included a ban of the auto-play feature alongside the slowing down of play, however that has not been included in this new code of conduct.
On the newly introduced changes, chief executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, had the following to say:
“The new Game Design Code of Conduct is yet another example of our determination to address concerns head on and meet our safer gambling commitments.”
Dugher added that the move shows the industry is working to improve standards at a time when major changes to British gambling legislation is expected.
“I’m sure that our members will embrace this approach and commit to its objective of improving player safety,” he said. “And as we prepare for the forthcoming Gambling Review, it is further evidence of our industry’s commitment to improving standards – unlike the completely unregulated black market.” To learn more about safe practice when using online casinos, be sure to check out our informative guides on responsible gambling and how to control your spending.