UK casinos to change ‘free spins’ to ‘extra spins’
While the entire UK gambling industry is facing some big changes, it appears online casinos already have to think about how they offer incentives to players.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently announced a crackdown on online casino promotions which have “predatory terms associated with bonuses and free spins”.
In a bid to make promotional terms more transparent, the two watchdogs require online casinos to use appropriate terminology. As a result, free spins will now be known as ‘extra spins’ at UK-licensed casinos as of October 16.
Instead of using a word which implies that the spins are free and without any terms and conditions, the new terminology has been chosen to prompt players to see what requirements are attached.
UK-licensed online sites have terms and conditions attached to bonus offers, including free spins, with the concern being that players do not read them, hence have no no understanding of the wagering requirements that must be passed before you can make a withdrawal.
So why aren’t free spins great? they are free after all? Well yes you get to play the chosen slot for free, but often you may have to wager any bonus amount won off the free spins 30X or 40X, which is hard to do.
With the terminology changing to extra spins it is hoped the misconception that they are free spins will be cleared up, and entice more players to read the terms and conditions enforced on spins.
The change could also be a result of the government planning to introduce taxes on free play bonuses. While the government considered introducing the tax earlier, it decided to scrap it from the agenda. However, the magnifying glass on the gambling industry may prompt lawmakers to reconsider.
The Remote Gaming Duty, which would see casino operators paying tax on extra spins and bonuses, was proposed in 2016 in a policy paper by the UK tax authority, HMRC. It was then included in the Financial Bill 2017 until legislators scrapped it. However, it could be re-introduced following the triennial review of the gambling industry expected in the coming months.
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