When the very first slot game was introduced to the world in the 19th century, every slot spin had to be activated by a pull of a lever. This may have eventually got tiresome for some until punters discovered that a little subtle manipulation of the lever could influence the placement of the symbols on the reels. This led to many gamblers winning regularly on slots. Whether this was cheating or just being savvy is open to debate.
Modern slot spins are activated by a push of a button at a land-based casino or the use of a computer cursor or keyboard at online casinos – claim 500 free spins at Slotsbaby. Spins can no longer be manipulated, and the experience of spinning slot reels is a much speedier affair.
The autoplay function on modern slots is surprisingly controversial. If you are a live slot streamer, then it is an invaluable tool because you can set the slot you are playing to get through hundreds of spins whilst you address and interact with your audience. You can acknowledge messages coming through live chat or concentrate on each spin without the constant need to physically press buttons.
Those of you playing at home can set the slot to spin for a set number of times too whilst you go and make a snack or complete a chore and if the slot triggers a bonus round, it is there waiting for you. Autoplay is also an extremely useful tool during slot tournaments when a set number of spins at a certain betting level have to be completed before you can even be considered for a prize.
The controversy is the speed at which autoplay features spin the reels. This has proved problematic because many players lose count of the amount of money, they are losing during an auto spin slot session. Slots are already gambling at their fastest and autoplay speeds things up further still.
The UK Gambling Commission
You may be wondering what an organization like the UK Gambling Commission has to do with the autoplay function of slot machines. The purpose of the commission is primarily to license and regulate all forms of gambling in the UK. Whether it is arcades, betting shops, or casinos, all have to meet certain standards set by the commission, to be allowed to operate in the UK. However, they are also in charge of player safety and if any problem areas in gambling are brought to their attention, then they must act upon them to protect the public and prevent gambling-related harm.
With all this in mind, the UK Gambling Commission has seen it fit, after a consultation, to prohibit the use of the autoplay function on online slot machines. The decision has also been supported by experts who report back to the commission with their findings and experiences using autoplay slot spinning. It is argued that this can prevent heavy losses and return the control of spinning the reels back to the punter. However, there will also be those who think it is another overreaction by the commission.