So, in October 2017 the UK gambling industry had some major changes. It was found that there was "improper ways" to offer players incentives to play on online casinos and therefor changes had to be made and online casinos was forced to re-think their strategies.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the UK Gambling Commision (UKGC) completely cracked down on what they believed to be "predatory terms associated with bonuses and free spins" when it came to online casino promotions.
The two watchdogs were unsatisfied with terminology used by the vast majority of online casinos when making different promotions and offers towards the public. So, to combat this, it was decided that from October 16 2017 henceforth, free spins will now be known as "extra spins".
The problem was that the word "free" in "free spins" implied that the spins offered were actually free and without any kind of terms and conditions or any other kind of requirements from the players. Because of this change of words, it is now assumed that players from now on will realise that there are requirements attached to the offers made.
Now, new players will definitely read all the terms and conditions tied to the different bonus offers and extra spins and not just click through them as they did before and by that have no understanding of the wagering requiremnets that must be completed before any withdrawal is, or can, be made.
So what it comes down to is simply the word "free" in free spins. Yes, you get to play the slot of your choosing for free, but nine times out of ten you'll have to wager any eventual bonus amounts won off the free spins up to 20 or 40 times, which, without saying, is very hard to do.
With this new terminology, extra spins is hoped to spawn interest in players to read about their terms and conditions enforced on the spins. Any or all misconceptions is hoped to be cleared up by this.
But this might not be all! This change could be a precursor to a government plan to introduce taxes on free play bonuses in the future. These kind of taxes have been in the political reform pipeline before, but have also been repeatedly discarded. However, now when the magnifying glass is put on the gambling industry more intensely, it may very well prompt lawmakers to put the taxing suggestions back on the floor.
Back in 2016, The Remote Gaming Duty was proposed by the UK tax authority, HMRC and would have had the casinos paying tax on extra spins and bonuses. It actually was in the Finacial Bill 2017, but lawmakers scrapped it in the end. However, as we said, it could be re-introduced in the coming months due to extra surveillance put on the industry at the moment.