Autoplay in online casinos – curse or blessing?
If you are looking for mobile casinos with autoplay or turbo function on the Internet, you will still find them today. But the new GlüStV has actually been in force for almost a year, which actually explicitly prohibits providers from providing an autoplay function. Without such an autoplay feature, the player has to manually trigger each spin with a click. But is it even necessary and appropriate to completely ban such a function to protect players?
Autoplay ban has been in effect since July 1, 2021
The new GlüStV stipulates that an autoplay feature may no longer be offered. So far, almost all slot machines have had this convenient function so that the player does not have to trigger every spin manually. As a rule, the player could even set how many spins should be played through in auto mode (e.g. 50 or 100). In addition, depending on the slot, the auto mode could be interrupted when a certain single win or a certain game credit was reached. Basically, there were already some measures in place before the new GlüStV came into force that were intended to protect players.
But in §22a GlüStV (Virtual Slot Machine Games) it says in paragraph 4 in the finest legal German:
“A virtual slot machine game may only begin as a result of a corresponding declaration by the player, which may only be made after the previous game has ended. In particular, program sequences that allow another game to start automatically after the end of the previous game and declarations by a player to take part in several games in a row are not permitted.
Does autoplay mode compromise player protection?
The legislator obviously sees the autoplay feature as too great a danger for the players, so that this game mode was forced to be banned. In fact, the player retains more control over his gaming behavior and the total budget available if he has to actively trigger each spin himself with a click. However, the regular clicking, especially in combination with the 5-second minimum playing time that also applies, means that the fun of the game sometimes suffers considerably. Therefore, there is a justified risk that players will turn away from licensed providers due to the uncomfortable way of playing and try their luck at online casinos that are not licensed in Germany.
From our point of view, an autoplay feature is not a danger for the players under certain conditions. In general, it is much more important to have a functioning player protection concept in which players with problematic gaming behavior are given targeted help. Even without the autoplay function, players are probably wasting more money than they want or should. The only important thing is that the autoplay feature can be adjusted according to the needs of the individual player.
This means that, for example, after a certain number of game rounds or after a certain win amount, the game is stopped in order not to lose everything sooner or later. Unfortunately, German legislators have completely banned the autoplay function since July 1, 2021, so that gambling providers licensed in Germany at least are not allowed to offer this feature. In fact, there are still some online casinos that still provide an autoplay feature for many slot games because they believe, for example, that this requirement is not legal.