At the beginning of last week, the regulator for the gambling industry in the United Kingdom the Gambling Commission, announced a package of changes that licensed online operators are required to implement by the 31st October 2021. The aim of said changes are according to the UKGC, to make online games safer by design and include the removal of features such as the autoplay facility, on all online slot games offered to UK players. Other measures which operators are required to implement include removing sounds or imagery which could by their very design give the illusion of a win, when in fact the amount returned is equal or less than the bet staked. Additionally the UKGC have confirmed that the temporary removal of the reverse withdrawal facility has been permanent which is to be welcomed, removing at a stroke the ability for players to play back funds which they had originally decided to withdraw. However, for the vast majority of players the removal of the autoplay feature will reduce the enjoyment of playing slot games online. The Gambling Commission are quite clear as to why they are implementing these changes, despite the fact that there are now plentiful facilities available to players to control their spend with online casinos. The setting of daily or weekly deposit limits are one such measure. These measures though for some do not go far enough, with certain sections of the mainstream media and opponents of gambling in general, holding the view that the UKGC are kowtowing to the gambling companies, with the introduction of bet limits not having been introduced. But do not be surprised if draconian measures such as these actually do come into being later in the year, especially as there is an ongoing review of the Gambling Act in its current form. Non Gamstop Sites need Action taken Against Them We have covered here on Casinomeister over the past 2 years the practice of certain ‘affiliate’ sites targeting a wide array of Gamstop related terms. Gamstop of course being the self exclusion service that all licensed UK online gambling operators have to sign up to, thus allowing players residing in the UK to self exclude from all licensed UK operators via the Gamstop web site. Indeed when announcing the 2020 Casinomeister Awards last week on Tuesday 2nd February, we bestowed upon affiliate sites that target problem gamblers our illustrious ‘Bag of Dicks Award‘. The Gambling Commission for some reason or another continue to ignore the practice of affiliate sites that provide lists of online casinos which are not only operating outside the jurisdiction of the UK, but in the case of some of the affiliate sites, they are owned by individuals that reside within the UK. By going after and taking action against sites which promote these rogue offshore casinos, that in most instances willingly take players who have signed up with Gamstop, the UKGC will in turn be taking positive and decisive action in promoting responsible gambling. Should anyone from the Gambling Commission come across this article, they could start with the site casinogap.org, which not only promotes known rogue casinos such as Red Lion Casino, but also is run by individuals based and residing in the UK. Well within the reach of the UK’s regulator of gambling! Such decisive action will not only help protect those individuals who recognise they have a problem by signing up with Gamstop in the first place. But by taking action against these sites, it will help ensure that if and when these players have a lapse, the taking down of these sites targeting problem gamblers, will help ensure that said players cannot give in to the temptation of their addiction.
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