Posted in Industry December 26, 2018
What Happened to “Extra Spins”?
If you are new to the online gambling world, or in case you missed the news, the UK Gambling Commission along with the UK Advertising Standards Authority, released legislation which says that all casinos have to start using the term Extra spins, instead of the classic Free spins.
The reason they gave does make sense from a certain point of view as both authorities are out there to protect the players, but this time, even the players felt like this change wasn’t necessary. The main reason why UKGC and ASA decided to implement such thing in the current law was that “Free Spins” does not express the correct terminology as it makes players think that there are no obligations to the casino, while those spins are being claimed and used.
This topic was confusing the moment it had been brought up in public as everyone could argue that one terminology is better than the other.
Free Spins vs. Extra Spins
We all know that, essentially, you’re getting the same thing, no matter how the feature is being called, but let’s see what’s different between the two in terms of their names, and how either of the two makes people feel about it.
The good old Free Spins. Ever since casinos appeared, gamblers and the makers of the machines called them like this. We’re not even talking about online slots as it all started with first land-based casinos and first slot machines. The online community appeared decades later and simply brought along all the terms to the internet.
As we said it earlier, you’re getting the same thing, but the casinos are calling the feature differently because of the authorities. Here’s why they decided to implement this legislation – The term “Free” creates confusion, and makes players believe that they can play those spins, however and wherever they want, with the option to take the money out of the casino, right after making some cash.
This sounds ideal, doesn’t it? If you get 20 Free spins, there is no way to leave the website without withdrawing the money, right? Wrong. Just like any other bonus, the Free spins promotion has withdrawal requirements, which are usually higher compared to other offers. This all makes a lot of sense, but the fact that the two UK commissions think that the word Extra will make people consider taking a look at Terms & Conditions is what caught everyone by surprise.
People had to keep reading their official statement over and over again because they thought they missed something as this looks like an unfinished rule and like there should be something else implemented as well. The “Please read T&C” label across the promotion image or a highlighted text at any spot reserved for a bonus offer would be a lot more effective, and could make the image look even better, with different designs, fonts and decorations available to the developers nowadays.
What Were the Main Problems?
Almost nothing. Very few casinos licenced by the UK Gambling Commission decided to make the change because of the new legislation, which came to power over a year ago. The main issue that software providers and online casinos faced is that they would have to change every single “Free Spins” phrase with “Extra Spins”.
First of all, not all casinos were made using a CMS such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, which makes the job of rewriting phrases a lot harder. Second, even those made in a CMS, which is the vast majority, gets into trouble when a huge portion of their website is custom made, with painted and uniquely designed promotions including the phrase Free Spins.
The third problem online casinos faced was related to was SEO, the Search Engine Optimisation. As you already know, when you google something, Google’s engine gives you the most relevant results in an extremely short period of time, usually within one second. Now, those who completely remove the phrase “Free Spins” from their website lose a lot, especially because that’s one of the most searched phrases in the past 12 months when it comes to the online gambling branch. All the blogs and articles written to give valuable information to the gamblers and improve the SEO status of the website would lose a lot of value and possibly cause money losses because certain casinos appeared above yours in google results, in case you changed every “Free Spin” to “Extra Spins”.
Who Made the Change?
As we already said earlier, very few casinos decided to make the change right off the bat. The legislation came into force in no time, on October 16, 2017, and those who changed their terminology thought that everyone was going to need to do it as well anyway, so they might as well try to get a head start when it comes to marketing strategies.
These are some of the most popular casinos licenced by the UK Gambling Commission that made the change over the past thirteen months:
As the UK Gambling Commission controls hundreds of online casinos, this is only a portion of those who renamed their feature. To make things more interesting, we will list some of the most popular casinos that did the opposite and left the old-school name of the feature, or at least modified it differently:
As you can see, some really big names are mentioned on the second list as well. Here’s an interesting fact – not every casino from the 2nd list kept the name “Free Spins”. Videoslots and Rockstar Reels, for example, switched it to “No Wager Spins”, while Dream Vegas and All British Casino use “Bonus Spins”.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter to you as a player how the feature is called as long as you completely understand what you are getting from it and what are the requirements. The only way to get an idea of how this works is to read terms and conditions each and every time you’re looking forward to claiming a certain bonus. Regardless of the name, there will be withdrawal requirements whenever the casino decides to give a certain boost to your account. Stay safe, spend only the amount you can afford to lose, and do not worry about new laws similar to this one unless you operate a casino yourself.
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