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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.

Safer gambling measures


New measures have been introduced but these cannot be attributed to the changes to slots products, they’re more likely to be directly impacted by other motivations.

The online game design changes are part of an ongoing trend of regulatory changes that includes the prohibition of gambling with credit cards online and consumer interaction requirements that intend to make the gambling environment safer for players. One potential long-term outcome of these changes is that this trend is acted-upon by the gambling industry.

Since the online game design changes have been announced, there have been several new initiatives by gambling businesses and trade associations, such as a voluntary cap on stakes for slot products and more sensitive algorithms that have led to increasing the number of interactions. However, the Gambling Commission is unlikely to be aware of all developments.

Gambling businesses have introduced safer gambling measures proactively over a long period of time and it is not easy to assess whether there has been an increased number of measures introduced following the game design changes to online slots products in October 2021. Therefore, despite new measures being introduced, these cannot be attributed to this regulatory change. It is equally possible that measures were introduced as a result of the the Gambling Commission’s customer interaction guidance in anticipation of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) High Stakes: gambling reform for the digital age paper (opens in new tab) that was published in April 2023 or reasons entirely unrelated to Gambling Commission activities.

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