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New study reveals: Less compliance & regulations for online game providers

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Online casinos and players are heavily restricted while game providers create games that can lead to problem gambling.

In the online gambling industry compliance and strict regulations are imposed on all parties involved. Starting from the casino operator to you (the player) the compliance rules will have some degree of impact. But here at CasinoWow, we provide a new study that reveals that game providers are less impacted by the strict regulations. They continue to make casino games (with gamification and player achievements) that can lead to problem gambling, but they are not regulated to the degree that casinos are.

The online casino industry continues to receive stricter regulations as gaming authorities attempt to curb gambling addiction. While the authorities have stricter regulations in place for online casinos and players, the same can’t be said for game providers.

Game providers continue to explore without boundaries in terms of features that could lead to problem gambling.

Features that can lead to problem gambling

Bonus buy features

The bonus buy feature is also referred to as a feature buy or buy bonus. This is a feature that allows you to access the free spins or bonus feature instantly. You don’t have to play until you trigger the feature instead, you can buy the bonus directly on slots that have this feature.

Essentially you spend more to trigger the feature instantly rather than wait for it to trigger naturally throughout your spins. The bonus buy feature can be quite costly as it costs more than your normal spin amount.

While this feature can be quite rewarding, it also has the potential to be expensive. There is a fixed price on each bonus buy feature for different games. But it can cost up to 360 times your stake or more depending on the game.

Achievements with gamification

One of the latest trends in casino games is the addition of gamification features. Apart from online casinos gamifying the casino itself, there is a new trend of gamification in online slot games.

These games are more interactive, and developers use techniques such as visual rewards that leave you feeling like you’ve won the jackpot.

This can include things like levelling up, cut scenes or even an entire game that plays as a video game would. Collecting items and creating avatars takes the “slot feel” out of the game and could make you forget that you’re betting real cash.

Some mini-games make the games even more intriguing. Games that come with gamification include Avalon, Castle Builder I and II from Microgaming as well as Aliens from NetEnt.

With gamification, you could also unlock content with each new level or take part in tournaments against other players. While this is highly innovative it can also lead to you playing longer than you would generally play on any generic slot game.

Quick play (fast spins)

Many slots come with a quick play function or Turbo Mode. This is an option that you can manually activate to speed up your spins. If you’re not in the mood to play your spins at a regular pace, you can activate this feature to increase the speed of the spins. This will allow you to play your chosen slot at a much faster pace. While it can be quite the adrenaline rush, it also increases the amount you spend in a shorter amount of time.

Extremely high stakes

Another addition to the more modern slots is that they come with higher stakes. Some slots even feature extremely high stakes which makes them more alluring to high rollers. After all, some believe if you want to win big you must bet big. One of the biggest issues of high-stakes slots is that they are prone to increase the risks of problem gambling behaviour.

Cartoonish images and addictive sounds

As technology advances, software providers are becoming smarter with the use thereof. They are more prone to use images and sounds to their advantage. You will find slots use more addictive sounds and cartoonish images that create a more appealing gaming experience.

With this, you feel more inclined to spend more time playing the game than ever before. It keeps you locked on the game instead of reaching a point where you feel bored or start thinking of doing something else.

Auto-play features

And lastly, there is the auto-play feature which is a nifty way for you to enjoy the high-quality visuals and sounds without actively taking part in the game. You can activate the auto-play feature to activate between 10 and 1,000 automated spins.

When you activate this feature, you don’t have to manually spin the reels. All you have to do is sit back and watch the reels. You can also set it up so that it automatically stops after a certain win or loss or when the bonus feature hits.

Features and restrictions

All of these bonus features are popular and quickly becoming the norm in slot games from top software providers. These features are created to increase player entertainment and interaction with online slots. While they are great for entertainment purposes, they also pose a threat to gambling addiction numbers.

These features increase the risk of potential gambling problems as they increase the time spent gambling and the amount spent over time.

Gaming authorities must now step in and assess what can be done to curb the rise of gambling harm due to these features. This is already starting to happen as certain regulators have banned features such as auto-play and quick play.

Restricting these features to some degree could make a big difference in the long run and that can only be good for the industry as a whole.

Published: March 22, 2022

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Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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