UKGC Bans Online Slots’ Bonus Buy Feature
Posted at: 09 October 2019
According to information published in online gambling forums, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has requested some game suppliers to discontinue offering the Buy Bonus Feature to UK players. As a result, game providers such as Big Time Gaming, Microgaming, and Blueprint will have to either amend or remove some of their most popular slots (Money Train, White Rabbit, Gods of Olympus, to name a few).
What is Bonus Buy Feature?
The Bonus Buy feature enables players to trigger the bonus round of a slot, but the instant access comes with a steep price ranging between 70x – 100x one’s stake. In other words, if a player places a £1 wager and decides to use the bonus buy feature, they have to pay £70-£100. The larger the bet in the base game, the higher the price of the bonus buy feature.
Why is the Bonus Buy Feature Frowned Upon?
The ease of triggering the bonuses and the payout boosts they bring are among the main reasons why players prefer one slot over another.
The UKGC authorities see the Bonus Buy feature as a threat to players’ well-being, as it encourages them to place huge bets thus increasing the risk of overspending.
Some online casinos never offered the Bonus Buy feature to its customers as they predicted that the UKGC will sooner or later take measures against the huge size of the wagers.
The Bonus Buy feature can be easily deactivated unless it was hardcoded into the game, in which case its removal is both costlier and more time-consuming.
In all cases, this is just another example of UKGC’s commitment to fighting problem gambling. The Commission has already taken a stance against credit card deposits. Earlier this year, the max stake of the FOBT was decreased from £100 to £2, which caused turmoil in the local gambling market.
The UKGC is yet to release an official statement on the Bonus Buy feature matter. It hasn’t specified date until providers must remove the feature, but they are expected to do that within a reasonable time.