Australian Council on Children and the Media

Slots - Storm8 Studios

app image

Short takes

All elements of gaming machines and strategies to encourage continued play found in local clubs, pubs and casinos are in this app. The only difference between this app and the gaming machines is that you spend real money with absolutely no chance of winning real money. There are easy to purchase coins for gameplay. This app has been placed on ACCM’s gambling watch list and is not recommended for under 18 years.

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Simulated casino style gambling

This review of Slots was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 February 2017.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Slots
Developed by: Storm8 Studios
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: 12+
ACCM suggested age: Due to simulated gambling this app is not recommended under 18 years.
Gambling content advice: Simulated casino style gambling. Player is risking money or something of value on an outcome of an event involving chance when the probability of winning or losing is less than certain. Refer to the gambling section of this review for further details

ACCM review

This review of Slots contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

4 levels.

App description

All elements of gaming machines and strategies to encourage continued play were found in this app. This is similar to the type of gaming machines that adults will find in local clubs, pubs and casinos. You will even find ‘autoplay’ which is a type of gambling that isn’t permitted in South Australia.

For example:

  • A gaming machine reel where players can choose how many lines and how much money they would like to spend per spin. Should you win you get a choice to ‘double up’ … pick the right colour card or the right suit and you will increase your earnings from the winning spin. Pick wrong and lose it all.
  • Free Spins Autoplay (Note - since 2002 this is a prohibited function for real gaming machines in South Australia)
  • The gaming machine noises (reel spinning, celebratory music and exclamations such as ‘you’re awesome!)
  • Whenever the reel is not spinning you can click a button to BUY more coins using real money  (Note - this appears to be very easy to do with touch enabled devices – see In App purchases)

Reviewers comments

This is what happened during the time the reviewer played the game:

At the beginning of the game 500 coins were given as a free prize. After 5 minutes of play the reviewer had progressed through to level 4 … losses were minimal. This is concerning as it potentially grooms the player to believe they can’t lose; and is particularly troublesome as it can set this expectation for all gambling activities in the future. For the next 10 minutes the reviewer attempted to lose all coins. No further levels were progressed but losing coins was difficult due to spins regularly resulting in a ‘Big Win!’, with the reviewer being told “You are awesome” or winning free spins. The reviewer eventually lost all coins by using the double up feature and trying to select a card suit that would not appear. At time of the review, there were no coins purchased, but the reviewer took the initial steps required to purchase them. There were two steps taken before the reviewer needed to confirm the purchase with their fingerprint (enabled feature on the device).

Note - Device savvy children know how to set finger print activation to their own prints on an adult’s phone. The only difference between this app and gaming machines is that you spend real money with absolutely no chance of winning real money.

In App purchasing

Yes.

Did you know in South Australia it is an offence for licensees or employees to allow a person to use a credit card (VISA, Mastercard, Bankcard etc.) or charge card (AMEX or Diners type cards) where they could reasonably be expected to know that the money will be used for playing gaming machines at that venue? https://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/licensing-and-registration/gambling/providing-credit-for-gambling/

Did you know in Slots it is not?

Whenever the reel is not spinning you can click a button to BUY more coins using real money i.e. credit card or potentially remaining credit from an iTunes card.

At time of the review, there were no coins purchased, but the reviewer took initial steps to purchase them. The reviewer pressed BUY, and then selected the number of coins they wanted to purchase, the reviewer could confirm purchase with the finger print feature enabled on device. At this point, the process was cancelled.

The app details page provided instructions for turning off the purchase features, and the reviewer was unable to follow instructions – potentially user error, potentially because they were out of date.

Online information

  • Credit card details
  • Cellular data settings
  • Identity details
  • Receive data from the internet

Gambling

The only way to play this game is to gamble. The only difference between this app and gaming machines is that you spend real money with absolutely no chance of winning real money. It is easy to purchase coins for gameplay. This app will be added to ACCM's gambling watch list.

Advertising and product placement

Other apps were advertised during and between gameplay.

Gender stereo types and sexual references

The reviewer noted some animations attempting to replicate attractive women.

Coarse language

None noted at time of review.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

Simulated gambling, strategies to encourage continued game play and ease of coin purchase using credit card.

Two steps were taken before the reviewer needed to confirm purchase with their fingerprint (enabled feature on the device). Note - Device savvy children know how to set finger print activation to their own prints on an adult’s phone.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.