In response to concerns raised by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently launched an investigation into the manner that online gambling operators are treating customers.
The CMA issued a statement wherein it revealed that the UKGC had been in contact with them regarding concerns related to potential breaches of consumer law, which includes misleading promotions and unfair terms used by companies in order to block players’ pay-outs.
As a first step to establishing whether any enforcement action is required, the CMA will issue information notices under Consumer Protection Legislation, requiring evidence from firms.
Consumers that have experienced such problems are requested by the National Regulator to provide further details of the issues.
Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director for Consumer Enforcement, revealed that gambling inevitably involves taking a risk but that it should not be a con.
Arora also said that they are worried that players are losing out due to the fact that gambling sites are making it too difficult for them to understand the terms on which they are playing, and may not be giving them a fair deal and they are, therefore, now investigating to see whether firms are breaking the law.
He went on to say that they have heard worrying complaints that suggest people may be lured into signing up for promotions with little chance of winning because of unfair and complex conditions.
Chief Executive of the UKGC, Sarah Harrison, added that they expect the gambling industry to ensure terms and conditions are not unfair. She added that he continues to be concerned that many operators appear to bamboozle rather than help the customer make informed choices.
The Regulator also feels that players could be impacted as companies have a vast discretion to cancel bets or alter odds after bets have been accepted, while terms can restrict players’ chances of challenging an operator’s decision.