Sadly due to changes in regulations implemented by the UK Gambling Commission, access to Demo versions of online slots games has been severely limited.
Sites offering Demo Slots games are now obligated to verify that players are over 18.
Why has this happened and what effect will it have?
In this article we’ll look at:
What are Demo Slots?
Anyone who has played Online Slots for any length of time will no doubt have come across Demo versions of the games.
These are basically just “free play” versions of the games, where you get some fake credits to play with.
Some Casino sites will offer customers who have signed up, Real and Demo versions of slots.
Demo versions can be good to help players get some practice on the games before prompting them to “play for real”.
A lot of cynical players think the Demo versions are programmed to pay out more to tempt you to play with real cash. I have to say, i have never found this. Most of the time I play Demo slots i lose so much fake cash that it puts me off playing for real.
Some sites who aren’t Casinos, offer just Demo slots. Mostly these are affiliate sites who hope that a percentage of players will sign up to a Casino and play for real – earning them a little commission.
As i mention in my article on GAMSTOP, i know people taking a break from betting, who have found that playing Demo Slots can help get them through times when they are tempted to bet. A bit like a dummy cigarette for someone giving up smoking.
I’ve certainly spent many hours playing Demo slots and i can’t understand people who play mobile games like Coin Master. These are basically Slots with no winnings but who can charge you to play them. Madness.
I even wrote an article about it where i recommend Demo Slots as a free replacement.
So, i’m a big fan of Demo Slots, as you can tell. They let players learn without risking money, they are fun and cost nothing to play and they can help those who want to give up gambling get over cravings with no risk.
And now the UKGC have effectively killed them off.
Who are the UKGC?
The UKGC are the UK Gambling Commission. It is the UKGC who regulate the gambling industry in the UK and provide betting licenses to any company who wants to provide gambling services to UK players.
I’m a big fan of the UKGC. They keep companies honest and pursue rogue companies or those who aren’t treating customers fairly.
They promote responsible gambling and make betting in the UK much safer for players.
But with this decision on Demo Slots, they have done something i find strange.
What have the UKGC done?
As of August 2019, The UKGC have decided that any site offering Demo slots must have age-verification processes in place.
Obviously Casino sites have to do what the UKGC wants or risk losing their licenses. But the knock-on effect to non-betting sites who only host Demo Slots happens because the Casinos refuse to allow these sites to be affiliated with them.
And the age verification isn’t a simple tick box exercise. For those sites still offering them, Demo players have to give their names and addresses to be verified, presumably using a company like Experian.
People are quite wary about giving anything other than an email address online. So, as you can imagine, the up-take for this verification is pretty low.
Why have they done it?
The main reason the UKGC has decided to impose these restrictions on Demo Slots seems to be, to stop people under the age of 18 playing them.
The thinking behind that, is that children may get interested in playing Demo versions of these gambling games and then try to bet online illegally to play the real thing.
This follows on from moves to stop the advertising of gambling during the day when children are more likely to be watching.
I fully support the idea that only adults should be allowed to gamble. And if there is evidence that free Demo games encourage under-age gambling then i am right behind this move.
And it will have a knock-on effect.
What effect will the changes have?
The main change will obviously be to those people looking for Demo Slots to play. You might have found this article because you are doing just that.
If you don’t mind giving personal details you still can, but most sites offering them are either down or just linking straight to Casinos. Some of whom don’t even offer Demo versions at all.
These Affiliate sites who host the Demo Slots, will die out in time.
Casinos may see a small downturn in new customers that they get from these affiliate sites.
People overcoming gambling issues, who use Demo slots as a sort of placebo, will still be able to do that – as long as they don’t mind giving their personal info.
But it will be worth it, as under age players will find it difficult to play them at all – unless they lie on verification forms. And who can believe they would possibly do that?
I assume that mobile games, like Coin Master, and video games that feature “loot boxes”- both of which are forms of gambling aimed at all ages that actually cost money – will come under similar scrutiny by the UKGC in the coming months.
As you can no doubt tell by my above comments i am torn on this decision.
I can see the thinking behind it, but i’m not sure it will achieve anything other than put affiliate sites out of business and mean children will have to lie if they want to play free slots.
Mainly, i think that it is addressing the wrong problem.
Loot boxes in video games and mobile gambling games are aimed primarily at children and have gambling “mechanics” that could hook them in.
They also encourage players to spend real money with no chance of real winnings.
No one ever spent a penny on Demo Slots.
Still, the deed is done now. Whatever i might think about it, I have to accept it.
If you are looking for Demo Slots, good luck.
If you are over 18 and looking for a real Casino to play at, check out our reviews and articles for recommendations and bonus info.