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Assessment of online games design changes

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

Reduced binge gambling


Reported binge information is stable, with a positive indication for post-change financial losses. Slots are still viewed as a product that is easy for people to become engrossed in.

Prior to the changes being announced, online slots products were identified in research into hot states and binge gambling (part of our research to understand why people gamble), to be the gambling product most commonly associated with binge gambling. Some of the features prohibited in the online game design changes were associated with binges.

Our online tracker data indicates that the proportion of respondents experiencing a 'binge' on online slot games has remained stable, as can be seen in Figure 4, and that slots still appear to be viewed as a product that is easy to become engrossed in.

The proportion spending more on online slots than they can afford to lose decreased slightly, with a significant decline in the proportion of past four-week slot players stating that they had spent more than they can afford to lose at least sometimes (56 percent prior to the changes, 48 percent after the changes).

Figure 4: Experience of binge gambling while playing slots

A line graph showing player experience while playing slots.Data from the graph is provided in the following table.

Experience of binge gambling while playing slots.
Statement September 2021 (percentage) December 2021 (percentage) March 2022 (percentage)
I have recently experienced a 'binge' whilst playing online slot games 33% 25% 33%
I spend more money playing online slots games than I can afford to lose 33% 22% 25%
I think it is easy for people to become engrossed whilst playing online slots 82% 78% 83%
Base size (individuals) 325 268 330
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