The dilemma of the autoplay button

With the ever continuing growth of the online casinos it is no wonder that governments and regulators are looking more closely at the protection of players and fair play. Of course this is a good thing because we know that, despite the many fair and professional online gambling providers, there are also many rogue casinos that will do anything they can to rip off unsuspecting players.

Governments make their own rules and regulations that online gambling providers need to comply with. This means that these rules and regulations vary per country. Some countries are more strict than others

Rules and regulations without scaring players away

There is a thin line between rules that help to protect players and rules that can scare players away where they might chose to play at a rogue casino despite the availability of legal and regulated online casinos and knowing the risk they take. Obvious reasons can be restrictions on bonus offers that are put in place in certain countries like Sweden. But it can also be restrictions that seem small but can have a big impact. For example the autoplay button on casino slot games.

Ban on autoplay button a good thing or an example of a wrong rule?

The Dutch government is seriously considering a ban on the autoplay button. At first sight this seems a rather small rule, but if we take a closer look at this possibility the effects can be counter productive. Instead of protecting players you can run the risk of scaring players away.

Online gambling companies are not really happy with this rule because this is a functionality that is used by many players. Certainly players who regularly play slots use the autoplay functionality. The question is therefore what will happen if a player can choose between a legal gambling provider without an autoplay function on all games or an illegal gambling provider with an autoplay function on all games. It seems like a small functionality, but pressing a button 100 or 200 times is an action that can get tedious. It is also quite a difficult trade-off  to properly regulate and make online casinos safe on the one hand and to prevent the same rules from scaring your players away into the arms of illegal providers on the other hand .

The Dutch government has set itself the goal of having at least 80% of Dutch players play in online casinos legalized and controlled by the Netherlands. In addition, you can also safely assume that some of the illegal providers will continue to try to entice Dutch players to play with them with all kinds of bonuses and welcome packages.

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In most European countries where online casinos are regulated, autoplay is not prohibited, but other ways have been chosen to restrict autoplay. For example, in Sweden autoplay is allowed, but each spin must last at least three seconds. In Denmark and the United Kingdom you can choose autoplay as a player, but a maximum of 100 spins in one go. As a player you are also obliged to indicate a loss limit in advance. If you go over that, the game will stop, even if you have not yet completed all your spins. Incidentally, the rules in the United Kingdom are getting tighter and the UK Gambling Commission is currently preparing a ban on autoplay under political pressure.

Ban the Max Bet button

In addition to the autoplay button, a number of games have another button that, in our opinion, should immediately be banned and that is the max bet button. This button is unnecessary in our opinion and a player only runs the risk of accidentally pressing this button. The result is that the game immediately, without warning, plays the maximum allowed bet on this game with the next spin. This can sometimes be € 100 or even more.