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Start date: 09 July 2020
End date: 03 September 2020

We are consulting on changes to the design of online slots - specifically to make them safer for consumers.

We know that the success of many technology companies, digital content creators and gaming machine games designers depends on their ability to establish and maintain the engagement of their consumers on their web, mobile apps and – in premises – gaming machines.

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.

Our interest in online slots is because it is the largest online gambling product by Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) - played by relatively few but with a high average spend. Structurally it has a number of features which can combine to significantly increase intensity of play.

This means it poses a relatively high risk, reflected in its associated problem and moderate-risk gambling rates.

We will evaluate the impact of the controls and friction proposed in this consultation to reduce the intensity of the play experience for consumers and will take further action if necessary.

Proposals around the design of slots games are just the first step in keeping players safe. Slots is an area which has seen technological innovation in terms of product design and we expect operators to continually show an equal, and indeed greater, commitment to innovate in terms of consumer protection.

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.

We propose the following key changes to protect consumers:

  • a suite of new controls aimed at reducing the potential for consumers to be harmed by their gambling on the most intensive products: online slots.
  • removing the ability of operators to reverse customer withdrawal requests.

This consultation is part of a comprehensive package of work we are taking forward to make online gambling safer, which will draw in part upon the data and responses supplied as part of our Cat B call for evidence.

We will continue to review the evidence base, evaluate the impacts of this work, publish relevant data and consider what further regulatory measures or advice to Government may be necessary.

Respond to the consultation