UK Investigation Begins into Online Gambling OperatorsPublished October 31, 2016 by Mike P
An investigation has been launched to ensure that UK online gamblers are being treated fairly. Here is a breakdown of the current details.
In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on 21 October 2016 that the organisation that it will perform an investigation to determine if British online gamblers are being treated fairly or not. The CMA elected to take action after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) raised concerns that some remote gambling operators were not adhering to consumer law.
Information Notices Served
Among the concerns raised by the CMA is that firms might be using unfair terms and conditions, hosting misleading offers, and blocking payouts. In its first major step, the CMA has issued UK gambling operators with Information Notices that have been served in line with the UK’s consumer protection laws. The CMA will then use the evidence to determine if any operators have made infringements.
As part of the announcement, CMA senior director for consumer enforcement Nisha Arora pointed out that gambling should never be a con. Based on complaints received by the organisation, Arora and the CMA are concerned that players are being exposed to terms and conditions that make it unlikely for them to win or receive a fair deal.
Collaborating with UK Gambling Commission
The investigation will see the CMA work with the UKGC for specialist insights. UKGC chief executive Sarah Harrison also commented on the collaborative investigation, saying that players should be able to have faith in their ability to win. Harrison also spoke out about the risk of obscure terms and conditions that get in the way of players’ ability to win.
A few promotional concerns were raised, with the CMA worried that some players are struggling to withdraw their initial deposit if they do not want to continue. In addition, some players are finding it tough to challenge the decisions of their operator, with some implementing tight seven-day windows in which to complain.
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has since responded to the newly launched investigation, cautioning that patience will be needed before passing judgement. The RGA represents online gambling operators and promised to cooperate with the investigation, while also promising to highlight any failings, were they to arise. At this stage, time will be needed before accurate findings can emerge.