UK: online gambling faces fresh restrictions

New restrictions designed to make online casino games less intensive and safer have been announced by the Gambling Commission.

They include the introduction of limits on spin speeds, as well as a permanent ban on features that speed up play or celebrate losses as wins.

Operators must clearly display to the player their total losses or wins.

The Gambling Commission said online operators would need to implement the new rules by 31 October.

The moves come in response to concern over what are known as online slot games – that is, games designed to mimic slot machines in real-life betting shops and casinos.

These account for an estimated 70% of online casino games.

According to the Gambling Commission, these slot games have by far the highest average losses per player of online gambling products.

A big test may come later this year, with indications that there may be a ban on gambling companies sponsoring the shirts of football and darts players. That would be unpopular not just with the companies, but also the sports authorities and clubs, who have become reliant on the sponsorship income.

Another change being introduced is a ban on reverse withdrawals – a function which allows consumers to re-gamble money they had previously requested to withdraw.

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