A new law which has recently been published is set to impact online casinos in the UK in a big way. Over the years, players have enjoyed the colourful allure of “cute” slot machines as the online gaming industry has expanded and been able to appeal to players different aesthetic preferences. Yet cuddly characters in slot machine games may quickly become a thing of the past.
Despite all online gambling games being only intended to be used by adults aged 18+, this hasn’t stopped the growing concern that these games were intended for children. Whilst the claims are outlandish that any legitimate platform would gamble with their own reputation by targeting their ads to children, that isn’t to say that children aren’t still drawn in by the use of colourful characters.
Everyone knows that aside from the occasional trip to the arcade, under 18s shouldn’t be able to participate in any form of gambling. But sadly, the regulations which are put in place to keep under 18s away from online casinos aren’t 100% effective despite the best efforts made by reputable and ethical casinos. The concern over “childish” games featured on online casinos in the UK is just one of a great number of concerns raised by the public.
Fluffy Favourites is just one of the online slot machine games which may be threatened by the new law which has been passed under the assumption that bright colours and adorable or humorous characters were designed to appeal to children. Naturally, the bold and bright colours appealed to a wide variety of players old and young who didn’t care for the dank and dark aesthetic of traditional slot machines. Yet, sadly, that is all set to change.
The Online Gambling Commission’s Orders
Under the order of the British Regulators of Online Casinos in the UK, over 450 gambling sites have already been ordered to remove select casino games right way. The casinos targeted have minimal chance of finding a loophole in the law which will see some of their most popular games removed forever.
Whilst most online casinos have strict procedures in place to ensure that any player of the game is aged 18+, this isn’t enough for the Regulators of Online Casinos in the UK.However, it is not only the accessibility to the websites which has raised concerns amongst parents and other bodies about the visual aspects of gaming. It is not uncommon to see TV or print advertisements of online casinos featuring characters which children can relate to. So, in that sense, it can be hard to keep a degree of separation between children and cute online slot games. Yet, it would have been a far fairer suggestion to change the marketing and advertising standards which casinos must operate by when advertising their online slots.
Yet, the Online Gambling Commission regulators are trying to ensure they apply effective damage limitation before parents have to partake in some awkward conversations with their 8-year olds why the cute bug-eyed characters aren’t made for them. On the other hand, this could be seen as a ‘nanny state’ move from the regulators to discourage the next generation of gamblers away from the platforms.
It’s no surprise that many casinos are worried about the impact of the new regulations given that on platforms such as Money Reels a significant amount of revenue is driven by games like Fluffy Favourites. However, there is little to be done about the fact that children will always have a keen eye for cute characters and colourful designs.
Therefore, it’s likely that you will see changes to all major UK online gambling websites and the games featuring storybook characters will be removed. This is partially due to a report which was published in 2017 by the Times which stated that “some of Britain’s biggest gambling operators are targeting children with their favourite cartoon and storybook characters in online betting games”. Which, is frankly ludicrous, given that online casinos know very well there is little advantage in advertising to a market demographic who are unable to play their games. It’s no secret that adults are also fond of the colourful gameplay experiences and familiar characters.
So, with little else to do, the online casino community will have to embrace the new changes which have come into fruition, to support the practice of healthy and legal gaming. As despite the best intentions of online casinos in the UK there were around 370,000 children and under 18s who were gambling each week. Other surprising figures from a study conducted by the Gambling Commission across England and Wales also found that there was almost twice the number of underage gamblers as there were underage drinkers.
Why the Sudden Change?
Considering that online casinos have been around since the early 90’s, many people are wondering why it took until now to make the change. The main reasoning behind this is due to the fact that many online gambling websites now offer free play options, such as free spins before you make a deposit. This means that children are able to sign up without having to confirm their age or their bank details.
It’s easy for the online gambling community to see the new regulations as negative, however, there is little doubt that they will bounce back with more immersive adult friendly gameplay experiences once the British Gambling Commission is done cleaning up. This isn’t likely to be the only change to impact the online gaming community in the coming months. We’ll do our best to keep you updated on all of the latest updates. But for the meantime, why not enjoy your favourite cute and cuddly online slot machine games such as Fluffy Favourites, Beez Kneez, Chibeasties and Kitty Payout along with many more colourful gameplay experiences? Or, you can even search through the different categories and find a new favourite online slot. Choose between action and adventure, native American games or even the luck of the Irish?