When it comes to gambling, protecting the interest of consumers has always been rightly placed above all other considerations. The rationale for this is rooted in the addictive nature of gambling, possessing a proven capacity to impair good judgement. In this respect, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, one of the most stringent gambling regulators in the world, has been poised to keep consumers protected at all cost and at all times.
The structural constituents of some slots have become quite likely to mislead susceptible players in some instances and throw them into a state of confusion. Hence, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is moving to enforce its duties in ensuring that fair, transparent and credible gambling is entrenched. To achieve this, the UKGC keeps expanding on its line of actions to protect players, which we discuss below.
Affiliate licensing: What Gamstop says?
Over the last decade, affiliate practitioners have managed to secure a robust means of driving monetized traffic to several industries and sectors. The gambling industry is buzzing with affiliates promoting, comparing, aggregating or providing expert opinions and bonuses on casinos and betting brands. Until recently, affiliate practitioners had operated without license, regulation, supervision, and control, meaning that they had been on the part of self-regulation. But now the affiliate industry may become regulated by the UKGC. Of course, self-regulation does not take away the fact that several affiliates operate fraudulent schemes designed to defraud and leave players in ruins.
The varied activities of these affiliates and their continually growing number, have brought about the need to have them licensed and regulated by one body. The UKGC, some states in the USA, Dutch gambling regulators, as well as some other parts of Europe, have begun considering licensing affiliates. This move doesn’t quite sit well with some affiliates who believe the paperwork would be tasking, with the unbearable bureaucracy involved. It’s their opinion also that the affiliate sector is just fine as it is, without any definitive government regulation needed to supplement it. This can cause several disadvantages as some small affiliates may promote casinos not with GamStop coverage which operate outside of the United Kingdom.
As expected, some other practitioners have maintained that a lack of a unified system of operations would continue to make the sector vulnerable to irregularities. For instance, the UKGC proposes to have a robust affiliate licensing system to regulate affiliate practitioners just as casino operators. The move is considered a measure that would rid the UK gambling sphere of rogue practitioners seeking to perpetrate fraud.
In the same vein, the Commission proposes that having a definitive framework of regulation would also eliminate the unprofessionalism displayed by casino operators toward affiliate practitioners. Such unprofessional conducts range from abruptly terminating affiliate channels, stipulating herculean requirements, rejecting traffic leads, among others. These and more are highly hoped to be rectified and corrected by a licensing regime, with professional penalties imposed for unprofessional conducts.
Quick Spin and AutoPlay features closing
The Commission has also carried out an extensive study of the effects of some gambling constituents on the consumers. As a result, the Commission received a report from an industry working group on gambling to clamp down on harmful gambling activities. While taking over from the industry working group, the Commission has initiated consultations (from July 9 through to September 3) to curb gambling harms as perceived from different factors.
First, the Commission seeks to limit the number of slot games a player can access to just one for each account. It would initiate software that would detect another browser, mobile applications or mobile windows used by the same person to play multiple slots at a time. In the same light, it is also proposing that the split-screen method of playing multiple slots at a time be cancelled. It is the position of the regulatory body that such practice grossly hindered players from focusing on one game, thereby losing so much money.
Second and most pronounced is the issue of minimum pace or speed in slots, as there is no legal framework on that yet. Based on its findings, the consumers have been found to lose so much money and become so vulnerable to addiction by using slam-stop, autoplay, quick spin, and turbo features.
These features make gameplay so fast that players hardly ever have control over their gambling per session and mostly end up chasing their losses. In reaction to these high-speed features, the body has suggested a minimum speed of 2.5 seconds be introduced to create uniformity between the speed in land-based slot machines and online slots.
In addition, the Commission has suggested that the time and money spent by a player on any game be made visible on the screen all through their playing session. This would arm them enough to make more informed decisions on whether to continue or not.
Furthermore, the regulatory agency has a permanent suspension on cancellation of requests to withdraw funds. This, it says, makes players chase their losses with the money they ought to have withdrawn, thereby losing more. All software seeking to celebrate the player for winning amounts below their total stake is also to be cancelled.
The importance of having regulations for minimum speed as against fast-paced speed can never be overstated. Thus, the UKGC is exploring this option well enough, considering that the interest of the consumers comes first and foremost.
Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org