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NEWS 23 June 2017

CMA takes action against online gambling operators

By Caroline Watson
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched enforcement action again a number of online gambling firms. The news comes after the authority noticed customers had been taking advantage of sign-up promotions.

The CMA identified a number of operators they deemed to be breaking consumer law. The point of contention is the fact that people do not get the deal they are expecting when they sign-up to promotions due to the long and complicated terms and conditions, that are often unclear and even unfair.

Furthermore, even when players have not signed up for a promotion, the CMA is concerned that some operators are not allowing players to take money back out of their accounts.

Gambling Commission Chief Executive Sarah Harrison comments: “New customers are being enticed by tempting promotions only to find the dice are loaded against them. And players can find a whole host of hurdles in their way when they want to withdraw their money.”

“Gambling operators must treat customers fairly – but some have been relying on terms that are unclear with too many strings attached.

The organisation received approximately 800 complaints from unhappy customers that believed the operators were not treating them fairly.

The nature of the claims made by these customers against the operators has prompted the CMA to launch an investigation at the back-end of last year, into the gambling sector’s compliance with consumer protection law.

Having identified a number of operators engaging in practices likely to be breaking consumer law, the CMA is now taking enforcement action and has a range of powers at its disposal to bring any illegal activities to an end.

“Whilst the CMA takes enforcement action on how consumer legislation is followed, the gambling industry should be under no illusion that if they don’t comply with consumer law, we will see this as a breach of their operating licence, and take decisive action”, adds Harrison.
RELATED TAGS: Legal & Regulatory
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