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Gambling Commission updates guidance for operators on fair terms and practices

The Gambling Commission (GC) has updated its guidance for operators on fair and transparent terms and practices.

ukgc fairterms

The Commission said it has recently found licensees using terms that are potentially unfair.

Examples include terms that allow licensees to confiscate customers’ un-staked deposits, terms regarding the treatment of customers’ funds where a licensee believes there has been irregular, illegal, or fraudulent play, or terms that unfairly permit licensees to reduce potential winnings on open bets.

Another example includes promotions for online games that have terms that entitle a licensee to void real money winnings if a customer inadvertently breaks staking rules.

The GC said it was also aware of terms and conditions that are difficult to understand, and welcome bonus offers and wagering requirements that may encourage excessive play.

In light of this, the Commission explained that licensees should review their terms and conditions to make sure they comply with relevant consumer protection laws, noting that if asked, it is a requirement for licensees to provide evidence to show their terms are fair and transparent.

The GC added that licensees should review their offers, particularly welcome bonus offers or offers with wagering requirements. Rewards and bonuses must be constructed in a manner that is socially responsible.

“If a consumer is not satisfied with a licensee’s response to their complaint, they can refer it to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider,” the Commission noted. “We expect ADR providers to adjudicate on contractual and transactional disputes between consumers and licensees. 

“Our guidance to ADR providers is clear: they must consider consumer protection legislation when looking at disputes. This includes, for example, considering whether a contract term is fair.”

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