UK – BGC launches Game Design Code of Conduct for online gamesBy Phil - 28 September 2020
Standards body the Betting and Gaming Council has unveiled a new code of conduct for the design of online games in a bid to improve player safety and tackle problem gambling.
Measures include the slowing down of spin speeds, banning several gaming features which have caused concern and improved access to safer gambling information. The new Game Design Code of Conduct follows on from the Safer Gambling Commitments published by the BGC in 2019 and is further evidence of the industry body’s commitment to driving up standards. The code’s aim is to address concerns around player safety by ensuring that safer gambling principles are fully incorporated into the design of online games before they enter the market.
Among the major commitments included in the new code are minimum game cycle speeds of 2.5 seconds, the ending of turbo play, which allows players to speed up games, and the scrapping of multi-slot play, where a player can place multiple stakes on different games at the same time. All of these measures will be in place by the end of this month.
The code also introduces further mandatory checks on players’ activity in order to introduce breaks in play. In addition, the industry will, via its game design research lab, explore ways to improve the labelling of games in order to increase players’ understanding of key terms.
The BGC has also committed to working with academics, regulators, consumers and individuals with lived experience of betting-related harm to identify best practice in game design going forward, to ensure the code of conduct keeps up to date with changes in technology.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “The BGC was set up last year with the aim of leading a race to the top in terms of standards within the regulated betting industry. The new Game Design Code of Conduct is yet another example of our determination to address concerns head on and meet our safer gambling commitments. I’m sure that our members will embrace this approach and commit to its objective of improving player safety. And as we prepare for the forthcoming Gambling Review, it is further evidence of our industry’s commitment to improving standards – unlike the completely unregulated black market.”