Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content


Assessment of online games design changes

Gambling Commission report focusing on research conducted into the impact of the online gambling games design changes.

Background and approach


The main aim of the changes introduced for online slots products was to make them safer by limiting spin speeds, removing certain play features, and increasing the visibility of relevant information. Alongside these changes, the permanent ban on reverse withdrawals was announced. This was introduced on 31 May 2020.

The Gambling Commission focused on online slots because of the features which increase the intensity of play and the corresponding risks to players. These features may have contributed to slot games having the highest average losses per player of online gambling products.

However, it was recognised from the outset that the introduction of multiple measures at the same time would make it very difficult to attribute any observed changes to a single measure. There were two other significant complications for attribution of observed changes. One relates to the ongoing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in late 2021, which impacted land-based gambling premises and online gambling behaviours. The other relates to voluntarily introduced changes by gambling businesses, which impacted different aspects of data collection at different times and to varying degrees.

When introducing these changes, the Commission was mindful of potential unintended consequences of the changes that were introduced, including the risk of increased staking-behaviour, increased session-length, or a negative impact on player experiences.

The consultation on online slots game design and reverse withdrawals (opens in new tab) and the accompanying consultation response on online games design and reverse withdrawals have more information on the aims of the changes.

Next section
Theory of Change
Is this page useful?
Back to top