If you’ve been paying attention recently it won’t have escaped your notice that on 1st November 2021 the ability to use the Autoplay feature on all slot machines played in the United Kingdom disappeared; this was no accident or coincidence so let’s take a step back and find out why we’ll now all have to suffer from RSI in pursuit of our favourite pastime.
Back in February the United Kingdom Gambling Commission announced a number of restrictions on casino gameplay with particular reference to online slot machines – this followed previous restrictions on stake levels and the removal of the ability to use a credit card to deposit money.
The main recent restrictions included banning:
- Features which speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome.
- Slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds.
- Autoplay which can lead to players losing track of their play.
- Sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, the stake.
The other main change which we’ll all notice is the requirement for operators to clearly display the total losses for the current session and the time spent playing.
In our opinion the two things we’re going to notice are the loss of Autoplay and the lack of any acknowledgement for those smaller wins which don’t refund the stake at least – we like to appreciate a win however small and this will obviously remove some of that pleasure.
The ending of Autoplay is a stranger beast altogether and perhaps we’ve reached a point at which the UKGC is actively trying to diminish the enjoyment we find in playing slot machines altogether; it should be noted that the Autoplay function has been pretty restrictive for some time now anyway – players have had to click buttons before starting to determine the number of spins, loss limit and single win limit. Without actively going through this process the spins just will not start.
What this new restriction means is that for the foreseeable future we’ll just have to keep clicking on every single spin with the finger-based discomfort which will surely result from that repetitive action. Add in the enforced gap between spins and there does seem to be a concerted effort to drain the enjoyment from this activity.
On a final note we should say that we completely support all measures to reduce problem gambling in all its forms but removing the Autoplay function seems a like a little bit of bureaucratic overreach.