Online slots are currently the most-played casino games on the online betting market. To provide 100% surety that there is a fair winning chance for all players, gaming providers always have their products regularly vetted for quality assurance. Some basic rules must be followed to keep players protected from rigged machines. The licenses obtained from the quality checks guarantee a safe betting experience devoid of any biases. Canada casino online platforms, or casino websites serving any region for that matter, must also be vetted to ensure that they offer a safe and fair experience for all players.
Since the industry is ever-changing to match punter needs, there is always a need to review the regulations to match the existing gambling scene when expanding into emerging markets. The regulatory changes are usually introduced to seal any loopholes that may have existed or even shed more light on grey areas or ambiguous guidelines.
Regulation Often Varies from Region to Region
So far, some regulatory changes have occurred in the recent past to overhaul the rules of engagement for providers and operators as they prepare to install online casino games on the market. While jurisdictional regulations on gambling affect whether players will be allowed to play games from some providers, the gaming authorities have a bigger say as to what games will be safer. So, depending on the jurisdiction, players may face different restrictions or freedoms that may not necessarily be available for players elsewhere.
While new restrictions and adjustments have been introduced for different gambling verticals over the years, online slot machines are the ones that have faced the most scrutiny. This has generally been the case because of how popular online slots are, and regulators from different regions try as much as possible to make them safer and less compulsive for players.
Focus on Player Protection
As outlined above, the main objective of most of the regulations and restrictions put upon operators and providers is to protect the players’ interests above all else. The thing is, playing online slots doesn’t require much on the punter’s part as it works on a ‘click-to-reveal-a-win-or-loss’ mechanic. In addition, online slots have random number generators (RNG) working to ensure random outcomes for each spin. As such, it’s much easier for punters to confidently put some money on the line, knowing that even first-timers may get lucky and walk away with a big reward.
In the past, players have managed to turn on ‘quick spin’ features to facilitate a faster game and an expedited process of getting to the outcome. According to some regulators, this presents an addiction trap for players who won’t be able to walk away from the alluring reels. As of 2021, the UK Gambling Commission has reconsidered these so-called privileges after research that involved public participation from slot gamblers. The commission has thus banned some features that were once considered a must-have for slot developers. The main features that players from the United Kingdom won’t be seeing on slot games in the upcoming future are:
- The auto-play button;
- Spin speeds that are shorter than 2.5 seconds;
- Other game-accelerating features that trick punters into thinking they control the otherwise random outcome of a spin;
- Celebratory sound effects for an outcome of 1x or less the wager.
The new player-based rules also stipulate that online casino players won’t be able to re-channel won money that is meant to be withdrawn into the casino for further gambling activities. In addition, gaming operators will also need to display the total wins, losses and time on the screen when the game is in progress. All these will ensure that the players can track their time and bankroll to avoid overindulging.
These and several other changes are coming to the regulated online gambling market in the UK. But then, players from other regions such as the Latin American market, Asia and some parts of Europe will continue to enjoy many of the features that the UK has prohibited.
More Profit for Operators
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), one of the most respected authorities in the gambling market, has also set some rules after consultations with leading gaming providers. The first concerns the minimum theoretical slot RTP, a resolution that has been put down on the Policy Paper on Amending the Return to Player Minimum Percentage.
The decision was arrived at after some research was done to determine why it would make sense to set the minimum RTP for online slots to correspond to land-based slots. MGA-licensed operators from around the world were also consulted on the matter, and they agreed to the proposal to lower the RTP.
Lower RTP means a more considerable house advantage, especially if there is little to no competition in the target area. Subsequently, players unsurprisingly tend to go for slots with higher RTPs before considering other factors. This puts operators in a tricky position in case of a competitive market, but they stand to benefit in areas where there is less pressure to offer higher RTPs.
Gambling has come a long way from being an underground industry despite being marred with controversy and bitter resistance for all the years it has been in existence. Technology has also come to dissolve the boundaries that separated individuals from what they could participate in, and regulators are at the forefront of keeping things safe and fun.