“The Gambling Commission has today announced new rules regarding online game design and reverse withdrawals. In the summer of 2020 the Gambling Commission consulted on the proposals and the response has now been published with details of the upcoming changes.
The new requirements will form part of a revised Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards (RTS) and Testing Strategy which will take effect on 31 October 2021.
Changes to the RTS include:
- Introduction of spin speed limits for example features such as turbo; quick spin and slam stop are not permitted. The Gambling Commission state that the example features are “…not intended to be an exhaustive list but to illustrate the types of features the requirement is referring to.”
- A ban on celebrating losses as wins. The gambling system must not celebrate a return which is less than or equal to the total stake gambled. “Celebrate” includes a ban on the use auditory or visual effects that are associated with a win in this circumstance.
- A ban on features that speed up play. There must be a minimum of 2.5 seconds from the time a game is started until the next game cycle can be commenced. It must always be necessary to release and then depress the 'start button’ or take equivalent action to commence a game cycle.
- Operators will be required to clearly display to the player their total of all winnings minus the sum of all losses since the start of the session.
- Providing auto-play for slots will no longer be permitted.
- The elapsed time should be displayed for the duration of the gaming session.
- Ban on reverse withdrawals. Consumers must not be given the option to cancel their withdrawal request. Once a customer has made a request to withdraw funds, they should not be given the option to deposit using these funds. This requirement was introduced amongst a number of additional measures required by the Commission to counter the potential impact of the pandemic in May 2020 and now becomes permanent.
- Ban on operators facilitating simultaneous play, including functions such as split screen, or multi-screens. Combining multiple slots titles in a way which facilitates simultaneous play is also not permitted.
The full consultation response can be viewed here.”
For further information on this or any other gaming licensing issue, contact solicitor Imogen Moss.