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October 2019: Industry Challenges

Phase one of the Gambling Commission’s Industry Challenge initiative, set at our industry briefing in October 2019.

  1. Contents
  2. Game design
  3. Industry progress

Industry progress

Two groups chaired by Scientific Games and Playtech considered different ideas around online and land-based game design and then brought those together in a draft code. As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak this work currently refers to online only, but it will also look to apply to retail in the future.

The BGC is now developing a plan around the measures suggested in this draft. As some of these commitments require re-engineering of games and gaming devices as well as covering a large back-catalogue of games, the BGC is committed to publishing the full Code by 30 September 2020.

The core elements being taken forward currently by industry are:

  • a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds on all slots
  • the removal of game features that speed up play such as quick spin and turbo play, and Slam stop or Stop reels will not be permitted
  • games that allow players to place multiple, different stakes on multiple slots games within a single gaming client will not be allowed (the screen, 'pop-up' or app in which you, the consumer, are playing a slot).

The BGC also suggested that they wanted to establish a Sustainable Product and Game Design Working Group to explore in-game features such as volatility and innovations. Part of this effort will be a BGC Testing Lab, which shall review game characteristics and test them for markers of harm. We will engage on this when there is further detail.

Their suggestion involved a phased implementation approach for new games with more straight forward improvements implemented first and Key Performance Indicators which can be tracked. Timings on introduction and detail on how it will be done are not yet clear.

A fully industry-agreed code will be published by the end of September, but there is a commitment that some of the items listed in the code will be implemented by then. In addition, the BGC has noted that it may be possible to implement some of the items ahead of that date but could not offer any immediate guarantees.

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