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UK and Netherlands ban autoplay button in online casino games

I love autoplay! It’s making my life as a slot reviewer so much easier! I hit the autoplay button and meanwhile, I keep writing. Convenient as can be. But in reality, it might be a bit too easy. Especially when you play with real money. Therefore, the gambling authorities in the Netherlands and the UK, put a ban on the autoplay button, as well as the quick spin feature. Both are available when we speak NetEnt slots. What is the autoplay button in online casino games and why a ban?

What is the autoplay button exactly?

The autoplay button is a function within a video slot that allows you to select a certain number of spins that will then run automatically. Just until the number of spins selected has been reached, or a bonus game opens that needs confirmation from the player to start.

In the NetEnt slots, you find the autoplay button on the left side of the spin button. Because it’s Princess day today, I selected a NetEnt slot that fits today, 18th November, as an example game.

Where to find the autoplay button in a NetEnt slot?

The main spin button is available in the middle of the navigation menu. Obviously, at the bottom of this NetEnt slot. Left of the spin button, you see the Autoplay Button. You click this button and a small black window opens in the corner of your slot screen.

In the mobile NetEnt slots, also known as NetEnt Touch® games, the autoplay button is available right under the spin button. It is a round button with a triangle in the middle.

In this image, you can see how you select the number of auto spins. It starts at 10 spins, but the number can also go up 1000. This means you let the reels spin a 1000 times.

In the Koi Princess™ slot, however, you have a few bonus features that need your attention. These are called Pick and Click features. The game comes to a standstill, waiting for you to make a choice.

So it’s not always 100% autoplay what you activate, but yes, you might not have to click the spin button for a while. The above images also shows that you can stop the Autoplay function at any time. Just use the STOP button. Reels then continue for a last auto spin!

What is the Quick Spin option?

When you click that spin button, with or without using the autoplay button, reels spin one by one. Sometimes, when two out of three bonus symbols appear, the last reels go slower to add to the excitement.

It’s a nice touch to a game, but it can end up as a dragging thing to watch. Often, a double click on the spin button is enough to create a quick spin. But you can also activate the quick spin option from the settings in the left corner at the bottom of the game.

A ban on the autoplay button and quick spin option

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Dutch gambling authority (Ksa) announced a ban on a few features available in video slots. The intention is to introduce new protections and controls on video slots from the different suppliers.

Ban autoplay button UK from 31st October 2021

In the UK, the decision came after a public consultation they carried out in July 2020. The consultation Making online games safer by design reviewed the risk and intensive play elements in video slots.

The consultation highlighted a few elements that could be seen as a risk including:

  • spin speeds or speed up play (quick spin function)
  • losses that are celebrated as wins

The latter involves wins that are below your bet. Video slots often celebrate them as a win, including the corresponding sounds and animation.

To tackle the findings from the widespread consultation, the UKGC obliges licenced operators to remove technical components or features that relate to:

  • Making slot spins faster than 2.5 seconds
  • Autoplay
  • Quick spin function
  • Sounds and animations that give the player the illusion they won while the actual win is below their bet and should be considered a loss

Additionally, the UKGC:

– obliges operators to display the player’s total losses or wins and time played during their session.
– enforces a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals.

Reverse withdrawals allow players to use the money they initially requested a payout for. Somehow they changed their mind during the process and request a reverse withdrawal which basically cancels the withdrawal after which the player can use the money again to play.

Ban autoplay button Netherlands from 31st October 2021

The Dutch online casino market opened up on the 31st October. In their instructions for operators, it shows that the Netherlands follows the UKGC when it comes to the autoplay button.

When can I allow autoplay in my games?
Autoplay functionality is only allowed if it is necessary for the progress of a game. Think of a game like poker. Usually autoplay is not necessary for a game and therefore not allowed.

By on 19 November, 2021