The UK Gambling Commission have issued warnings to operators stating all operators must confirm all games offered to players meet the transparency and Safety regulations imposed by the regulator.
Costly ‘Buy In’ Features
The warning was issued after six operators had offered games where a ‘buy-in’ feature was available in some online slot games at a high cost to the player.
Players have the option to buy-in to the bonus feature at a hefty cost without having to play the initial game. The UKGC found one particular game charged £3,000 to access the bonus feature!
The UKGC remote gambling and software technical standards contain the following,
RTS requirement 3A. An explanation of the applicable rules must be easily available to the customer before they commit to gamble. The content including artwork and text must be accurate, and sufficient to explain all of the applicable rules and how to participate. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the content is understandable.
RTS requirements 14A. Gambling products must not actively encourage customers to chase their losses, increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble, or continue to gamble after they have indicated they wish to stop.
UK Gambling Changes Continue
All six operators have now removed the games after the warning, but this is not the end for gambling operators in the UK. Only last week, we have seen a blanket ban in the UK of gambling using credit cards due to come in to force on 14th April 2020. Other countries are now looking at a similar ban to protect vulnerable players from gambling with funds they can ill afford.
In March 2020, operators will be required to opt in to GamStop’s self-exclusion program. All players must be given the choice to join the scheme and added to the self-exclusion register. This will make sure a player who has self excluded from one site cannot start playing at another site.
UK operators have made progress in the prevention of problem gambling and taken responsibility for their players. Tools and verification checks are now in place with regular checks conducted if a player presents with problem gambling tendencies.