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UK Gambling Commission announces package of changes which make online games safer by design

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UK Gambling Commission announces package of changes which make online games safer by design
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The Gambling Commission has announced a package of strict measures which will strengthen the protections and controls for those who gamble through online slots games – including the introduction of limits on spin speeds, and the permanent ban on features that speed up play or celebrate losses as wins.

Following a consultation with the public and players, the gambling industry and other stakeholders, operators will need to implement tough new player protection measures which will make online casino games less intensive, safer by design and hand players more control over their gambling.

The Commission has focused on online slots because of its features which increase the intensity of play and the corresponding risks to players. Slot games have by far the highest average losses per player of online gambling products1.

The new rules include the outright ban of four key features of online slots games:

Features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome
Slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds
Auto-play – which can lead to players losing track of their play, and;
Sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake
Other changes include:

Operators must clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session.
Alongside the changes for online slots the Commission has also introduced a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals for all online gambling – this function previously allowed consumers to re-gamble money they had previously requested to withdraw.
The enhanced protections that have been announced today will need to be fully implemented by online operators by 31 October 2021.

Since the publication of the Commission’s consultation in July 2020, further research has shown that using an auto-play feature has been linked to some players losing track of play, making it difficult for some to stop playing and in some cases gambling on other activities simultaneously.

Evidence shows that reverse withdrawal functions present a risk to players because of the temptation to continue gambling. In addition, the slot features being removed or more closely controlled have been associated with increased intensity of play, loss of player control, or binge play.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “To make online games safer we are introducing a ban on features that speed up play, or give the illusion of control over the outcome. We are also introducing a ban on auto-play, losses disguised as wins, and slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds. The evidence shows that these features increase the risk of harm to customers.

“This is another important step in making gambling safer and where the evidence shows that there are other opportunities to do that we are determined to take them.”

Minister for Sports, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston said: “Today’s steps will help curb the intensity of online gambling, introducing greater protections that will reduce the risk of gambling related harm.

“I welcome the Gambling Commission’s tough measures as we continue our comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they’re fit for the digital age.”

The new rules are part of the Commission’s comprehensive programme to make gambling fairer and safer which has also seen the introduction of strengthened protections around online age and ID verification, improved customer interaction practices, and the banning of gambling on credit cards.

The announcement of the further consumer protection rules for online games and the design of those games follow the Commission’s announcement on 30 September that it was implementing new rules to stamp out irresponsible ‘VIP customer’ practices. Those rules came into force on 31 October 2020. A consultation on customer interaction was also launched last in November with the outcome expected later this year.

Readers can access the Commission’s online games design and reverse withdrawals response for more details.

1 Our Covid data shows the average spend per slots player is £67 per month, compared with £36 for casino products and £45 for real event betting.

Gambling in the USA

Wyoming is Next for Fanatics Sportsbook

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Fanatics Betting and Gaming, a subsidiary of Fanatics Holdings Inc, a global digital sports platform, launched the Fanatics Sportsbook today in Wyoming.

Sports fans living in and visiting Wyoming will be able to download the Fanatics Sportsbook on iOS and Android and begin their Fanatics Sportsbook experience. The Fanatics Sportsbook is now available in twenty one states and approximately 95% of the addressable online sports bettor market in the U.S.

The Fanatics Sportsbook makes being a fan easy with fast signup, easy betting, transparent withdrawals and is disrupting the sports betting industry with the following new features:

  • Building a better sportsbook: The Fanatics Sportsbook app was built natively on iOS and Android. The design, speed and quality of the navigation experience rival the sports betting apps in the market today that were not built specifically for iOS and Android.
  • FanCash: Get up to 5% FanCash back on bets, win or lose. Every bet gets you closer to more rewards like team merchandise, bonus bets, and more.
  • Discover: Get everything a customer cares about including marquee games, key stats and trending bets delivered straight to the Discover feed.
  • Search: Find promos, bets, and trending topics all from the advanced search functionality. Bet directly from the search results and spend time enjoying the game, not looking for a bet.
  • Golf Upgrades: Fanatics Sportsbook now offers an enhanced live event center with shot-by-shot data, leaderboard tracking and course maps directly in the app.

To download images and videos of the Fanatics Sportsbook, visit the Fanatics Media Center, and for more news and information, follow us on the Fanatics Sportsbook social channels on X  and on Instagram.

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The Flutter Foundation launches in Ceuta, Spain with a mission to promote inclusion and wellbeing

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  • The foundation, supported by Flutter Entertainment Plc, has been launched today with its headquarters in Ceuta, Spain
  • Flutter’s first foundation anywhere in the world seeks to contribute to the company’s global goal of improving the lives of 10 million people by 2030
  • Activity will focus on addressing inequality and social challenge by supporting projects in education, entrepreneurship and technological development, promoting sports and improving employability

The Flutter Foundation, a new non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of the most disadvantaged people and groups in Spanish society, has been officially launched today in Ceuta. The Foundation, based in Ceuta, has been established to improve the quality of life of those who need it most. Supported by Flutter Entertainment Plc, the Foundation is committed to promoting initiatives to support social action, with the aim of generating positive impact. Its activity will focus on key areas, including education, supporting entrepreneurship and technological development, promoting sport and improving employability.

The Foundation, which is Flutter’s first foundation anywhere in the world, has established as part of the company’s global sustainability strategy, the Positive Impact Plan. Launched in 2022, this strategy includes the ambitious goal of improving the lives of 10 million people by 2030. By the end of 2023, Flutter had reported progress in improving the lives of 1.5 million people, measured and supported by data from the organizations with which it collaborates.

The Foundation has formalized two agreements today to benefit the community in Ceuta.

  1. Working with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Youth, the Foundation will support disadvantaged families and promote gender equality in scientific careers. The foundation is allocating 80,000 euros in scholarships for studies in STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
  2. In partnership with the Government of Ceuta, the Foundation is establishing a cooperation framework to develop initiatives that benefit the city, guaranteeing transparency and mutual benefit. In this way, the Flutter Foundation is committed to improving inclusion and quality of life in Ceuta.

Political and business leaders from Ceuta attended the launch event to welcome the foundation and show their support for this initiative including:

  • the Hon. President of the Autonomous City, Juan Jesús Vivas Lara;
  • the delegate of the Government of Spain in Ceuta, Cristina Pérez Valero;
  • and the Minister of Finance, Economic Transition and Digital Transformation of the Government of Ceuta, Kissy Chandiramani;
  • as well as representatives of the social and economic fabric of the city.

The launch event was also attended by Dan Taylor, CEO of Flutter International, who highlighted the importance of the Foundation within Flutter’s global commitment to positive community impact. “We are excited to see the start of the Flutter Foundation in Ceuta, and we aim today for this initiative to make a significant difference in communities, starting with Ceuta,” commented Taylor.

The Hon. President of the Autonomous City of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas Lara, expressed the city’s commitment to the work of the Foundation, highlighting its role as a strategic ally for community development. “Ceuta is proud to be the headquarters of this important initiative and to have a company like Flutter as an ally. The Flutter Foundation will be an engine of positive change for many people. We are committed to supporting its mission and collaborating closely in its work for the social, economic, educational and technological development of the city,” concluded the president.

During her intervention, Cristina Pérez Valero, Delegate of the Government of Spain in Ceuta, highlighted the relevance of community support in the implementation of social programs and pointed out that “the Flutter Foundation is presented as an opportunity to strengthen social cohesion and provide support to those they need it more. Their work will be very valuable to improve the quality of life in our community.”

Elisa Miguel Fonseca, President of the Flutter Foundation, expressed the vision and values that drive the entity’s mission. “We are very serious about launching the world’s first Flutter foundation. Our mission is clear: to work in close collaboration with the communities most in need to promote positive and lasting change in Ceuta society and, in a second phase, in all of Spanish society,” said Fonseca.

With an initial focus on Ceuta, the Flutter Foundation is committed to progressively expanding its geographic reach to positively impact a greater number of lives.

 

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SUPERDRUG BECOME THE FIRST HEALTH AND BEAUTY RETAILER TO LAUNCH IN ROBLOX

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Health and Beauty Retailer, Superdrug, will be launching a new ‘Superdrug Obby’, a branded obstacle game, on Roblox to celebrate their 60th Birthday.

The game will be available to play from 29th May for a limited time and will be made up of three games themed around some of Superdrug’s own brand ranges, ProCare, Fruity and Solait. The unique and exclusive obbies will see players battle spinning electric toothbrushes, bounce across ProCare toothpaste tubes and fly across floss highwire, before moving onto the Fruity game. The Fruity-themed game will challenge players with fun fruity-shaped obstacles before they go onto vote for their favourite Fruity flavour! The final game is a Solait summer and travel-themed obstacle game that quizzes players on their suncare knowledge.

On completing all three games, users will enter a virtual Superdrug store, where the 60th Birthday celebrations will begin! Players can explore the concept store, listen to the in-store DJ and get the chance to win Superdrug-branded UGCs to dress their avatar.

Users who complete all games will receive a code to redeem a FREE Fruity shower gel of their choice in any Superdrug store nationwide.

Online Business, Customer and Marketing Director at Superdrug, Matt Walburn commented “For our 60th Birthday we wanted to celebrate and engage with a demographic that is increasingly drawn to digital entertainment and so we are excited to partner with Roblox and take our first steps into the gaming world.

The collaboration allows us to introduce a new generation to our brand and interact with them in a way which is more appealing and natural to them.”

Andrew Douthwaite, CCO of Dubit said “We are excited to partner with Superdrug as they extend their 60-year celebration with a brand-new integration on Roblox,” “Roblox’s immersive platform is perfect for brands like Superdrug to connect with younger audiences in meaningful ways. We’ve loved working with the Superdrug team on this exciting project.”

 

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