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Standards

Remote gambling and software technical standards (RTS)

Remote gambling and software technical standards under section 89 and section 97 of the Gambling Act 2005.

RTS 13 – Time requirements and reality checks

Applies to:

In respect of requirement RTS 13A – All remote gambling except telephone gambling.

In respect of RTS 13B – Remote gaming (including bingo but excluding peer to peer gaming), remote instant win lotteries and high frequency lotteries.

In respect of RTS 13C – Slots.

RTS aim 13

To provide customers with facilities to assist them to keep track of the time they spend gambling.

RTS requirement 13A

Where the gambling system uses full screen client applications that obscure the clock on the customer’s device the client application itself must display the time of day or the elapsed time since the application was started, wherever practicable.

RTS implementation guidance 13A

  1. Time of day should either be taken from the customer’s own device or ‘server time’ and should be displayed in hours and minutes.
  2. Operators will not be expected to detect whether or not customers have hidden their clocks.
  3. Elapsed time should be displayed in minutes and hours.
  4. For restricted display devices, time of day or elapsed time should be displayed where the device supports it.
  5. In addition, customers may be offered the ability to set a session or game-play duration reminder.

RTS requirement 13B

The gambling system must provide easily accessible facilities that make it possible for customers to set a frequency at which they will receive and see on the screen a reality check within a gaming session. A ‘reality check’ means a display of the time elapsed since the session began. The customer must acknowledge the reality check for it to be removed from the screen.

RTS implementation guidance 13B

  1. The customer should be offered the opportunity to set or amend a reality check via easily accessible means at all times. Customers should be able to select a frequency at which the reality check will appear on the screen. Customers can be presented with a pre-set list time periods but these must have a reasonable and appropriate range from which to select and where a default time period is offered it must be set at the minimum
  2. The reality check should continue to appear at the selected time intervals until the customer’s gaming session ends (see definition of terms) or the customer exits their account (this will depend on solutions i ii iii below). If a customer is participating in multiple gaming sessions at once (eg playing bingo as well as participating in slots games in between draws) the gaming session began when the player commenced with the first product. The reality check facility could be implemented via one of the following ways:
    1. Player account level implementation - there are two potential solutions for account level implementation. The optimum approach would enable customers to set a reality check reminder for their account, which would commence at the start of the first gaming session and roll over to subsequent sessions. An alternative solution would be for the reality check to commence before a customer accesses a gaming session (for example, at account login stage). The second solution would meet the requirement although it would not take into account natural breaks in play, such as when customers are in the casino lobby.
    2. Product level implementation - this approach will enable a customer to set a reality check for each individual gaming session, for example the player commences playing roulette and then later starts playing blackjack and has two reality checks running concurrently but covering different time periods.
    3. Hybrid solution - some games are subject one reality check and others are subject to another for example all slot games are subject to a single reality check and live dealer products are subject to a separate reality check.
    4. A clear explanation of how the reality check is implemented must be provided to players so they are aware of how they can use it to assist them in managing their gambling. Where possible a player’s preferences should be applied to all future account logins or gaming sessions (where applicable). If this is not possible players must be provided with clear information that explains that they will have to set a reality check for each account login or gaming session.

  3. The reality check should offer the customer the facility to exit the gaming session or log out of their account (depending on which of the above solutions is adopted).
  4. The reality check should provide a link to the customer’s account history.
  5. The reality check can be presented at the end of a game but a player cannot be permitted to commit further funds to a new game until they have acknowledged the reality check, unless it occurs mid-way through a multi-state game such as blackjack where a player would need to commit additional funds if they wanted to split or double down.
  6. The reality check must prevent a new game within an auto-play sequence from commencing until the player has acknowledged the reality check.

The following provision for 13C comes into force on: 31 October 2021.

RTS requirement 13C

The elapsed time should be displayed for the duration of the gaming session.

RTS implementation guidance 13C

  1. Time displayed should begin either when the game is opened or once play commences.
  2. Elapsed time should be displayed in seconds, minutes and hours.
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RTS 12 – Financial limits
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RTS 14 – Responsible product design
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