Assessment of online games design changes
Reduced play intensity
It appears that the changes have had a positive impact on play intensity as the popularity of slots products continues to grow.
When looking at play intensity, it is necessary to consider session length, financial losses, and staking behaviour.
Data from a sample of gambling businesses was collected for a comparison of six months prior to the changes and six months after the changes. This data shows that the mean session length decreased.
Looking at longer sessions, the proportion of sessions lasting over 60 minutes fell from 7.8 percent to 6.9 percent.
Across this same period, there was a notable increase in the number of slots sessions. There was a monthly average amongst the sample of gambling businesses of 39.2 million sessions in the six months following the slots changes, compared with the six months before October 2021, when the monthly average was 32.6 million sessions. The number of sessions lasting more than one hour each month increased approximately 6.1 percent on average during the same time period, although, due to the increase in the total number of slot sessions, the proportion of sessions lasting more than an hour actually decreased.
Looking at financial losses for active online gambling accounts, there was a small decline in the proportion of accounts experiencing a monthly loss of over £50, over £200 and over £1000 as can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Monthly player loss before and after slot design changes
|Monthly player loss||More than £50 (percentage)||More than £200 (percentage)||More than £1000 (percentage)|
|6 months before changes||26.7%||10.3%||1.9%|
|6 months after changes||26.6%||10.0%||1.7%|
Since the changes came into force, there have also been changes in staking patterns for slots products amongst the sample of gambling operators that provided data.
Figure 2: Stake size before and after the slot design changes
|Stake size||Greater than £2 (percentage)||Greater than £10 (percentage)|
|6 months before changes||3.9%||0.2%|
|6 months after changes||3.3%||0.1%|
|Change in number of spins||Negative 165.0 million||Negative 9.5 million|
Figure 2 information
For stake sizes more than £2, there has been a reduction of over 165 million spins six months after the changes. For stake sizes over £10, there has been a reduction of 9.5 million spins.
At the highest staking levels, the number of stakes greater than £100 has reduced by over half, falling from 396,442 (0.001 percent) to 174,943. This is despite the number of staking events on slots products increasing over the same period. This is a metric that may have been impacted by any gambling business voluntarily introducing a maximum stake below £100, where £100 was previously available to consumers.Next section
Last updated: 8 June 2023
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