Ban now in place
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is no longer allowing online casinos to offer a “feature buy” option for online slots.
The commission has been sending messages to online casino operators, requesting for these features, or the games themselves, to be removed.
The feature buy option explained
The feature buy option has been available with many online slots titles for some time, with some notable ones including Book of Gods, Extra Chilli, and White Rabbit.
major UK gambling operators, such as Ladbrokes and Sky Gaming, never made the feature buy option available
It allows the player to purchase one of the game’s bonus features instead of having to play the game itself to trigger the bonus. Essentially, it is a shortcut to access the bonus rounds of a given game.
Some of the major UK gambling operators, such as Ladbrokes and Sky Gaming, never made the feature buy option available to their players when it first became popular. These operators had forecasted the UKGC curtailing these types of features in the future.
Ability to bet big
Often, the price to purchase access to an online slot’s bonus game may be as much as 100 times higher than the stake for playing the base game. Therefore, this large bet size can lead to people spending a lot more than they were planning to when playing online slots, which causes obvious problems.
Some players exclusively want to play bonus games, so this “feature buy” becomes a massive focus for them.
For some slots developers, the feature can be easily deactivated. However, some of the developers have these types of features hard-coded into a game, which means that it will be costlier and more time-consuming to remove these types of features from their games.
The UKGC has been curtailing gambling games that can incur massive losses in a short space of time.
In 2018, the UKGC dropped the maximum allowable stake per round on a fixed-odds betting terminal from £100 ($123) to £2 ($2.46). This move has been a success to date, with the money spent on these terminals dropping drastically since.
Another feature the commission is looking at potentially banning is the single reel respin, which lets a player spin a single reel, as opposed to all five reels, at a time. The use of this feature leads to players placing bets for a substantial amount, similar to what is seen with the feature buy option.