The birth of bonus buy slots in the UK happened in 2017 with the release of Big Time Gaming’s White Rabbit. This was the first of many slots where you could buy the bonus feature round instead of waiting for it to be triggered in-game. But in 2019, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) which regulates online gambling banned them from British online casinos.
Below we’ll look at the UKGC’s decision to ban slots from offering feature buy in the UK. We’ll also consider any alternative features that UK players are left with.
Bonus buy slots ban
Two years after the White Rabbit slot was released, the Gambling Commission banned feature buy-in slots in Great Britain.
The slot itself could still be played as long as this specific feature was removed. This meant that no online casino could legally allow British players to buy a bonus in a slot game. These games are still currently available elsewhere, such as bonus buy slots in Canada, as other gambling regulatory authorities have not prevented their use.
The reason for the UK ban was that these slots do not meet the UKGC’s remote gambling and software technical standards (RTS). For example, RTS requirement 14A states:
Gambling products must not actively encourage customers to chase their losses, increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble, or continue to gamble after they have indicated that they wish to stop.
As players must pay to unlock a slot’s bonus feature, this infringes upon the requirement to not encourage players to increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble. This is especially true when you consider that some slots require payment of x100 your stake to unlock the bonus feature round.
Slots where you can buy bonus UK
As slots where you can buy a bonus in the UK have been banned, there are no licenced UK online casinos that have them. Here at Casino Professor, we only list British sites that have a licence from the UKGC. So you won’t find feature buy slots at any of the sites on our UK online casinos list.
Any casino offering bonus buy slots in the UK are unlicensed and unregulated.
We strongly recommend avoiding these sites. That’s because the UKGC provides a lot of protections for players to help keep them safe. They also ensure the fairness of the slots and games. At unlicensed sites (such as casinos not on Gamstop), these protections are not in place – so do not take the chance.
Feature buy slots UK alternatives
- No Deposit Bonus
- 10 FS + 6 Bingo tickets (no wager!)
- First Deposit Bonus
- EXCL: 20 Free Spins -- code: QUEEN20
- No Deposit Bonus
- 50 Free Spins (no wager)
- First Deposit Bonus
- Spend £10 = 100 FS (no wager)
Given the UKGC’s requirements on responsible product design, there are no similar alternatives to bonus buy slots in the UK.
The only thing you can do is try to trigger these bonus rounds during normal gameplay while using a no deposit bonus. This is when you get a bonus as soon as you sign up. It’s definitely not guaranteed to work, but it gives you a chance of doing so without needing to pay.
The sites above have a no deposit bonus. But they work in different ways.
MrQ and PokerStars offer free spins without needing to deposit. These allow you to spin a slot machine without using your own money. Each free spin has a chance of triggering the slot’s bonus round (if a bonus round is available), but it’s unlikely to happen.
However, the free spins at MrQ and PokerStars are a bit different than normal because they have no wagering requirements. This means any winnings are paid as cash. If you manage to win enough then you can withdraw it straight away. You can view our best casino sites no wagering requirements for similar bonuses.
32Red offer players bonus money. This gives you the freedom to choose from a lot more slot games, so you can easily pick one with a bonus round. It’s still unlikely that you’ll actually trigger the bonus round though. Also, this bonus money unfortunately does come with wagering requirements. So it will be difficult to cashout any winnings as well.