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CMA issues warning over ‘unfair’ online promotions

| By iGB Editorial Team
The UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has called on gambling firms to stop running “unfair online promotions that trap players’ money”

The UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has called on gambling firms to stop running “unfair online promotions that trap players’ money”.

The call comes after the CMA carried out an investigation to ensure the sector was not breaking consumer protection law and that players are able to withdraw their own money when they play as part of a bonus promotion.

During the study, carried out in collaboration with the Gambling Commission, the CMA found certain terms in online promotions were likely to be ‘unfair’, with the potential to mislead customers.

There was also a concern that people could be made to play for longer than they had wanted to before being able to withdraw their money.

In response, Ladbrokes, William Hill, and PT Entertainment have now formally committed to change the way they offer bonus promotions to ensure players can always access and release their own money.

The operators have also agreed to be more upfront and clear in the terms and conditions of their bonus promotions.

This means players will not be required to play a number of times before they can withdraw their money, while firms must ensure restrictions on gameplay are made clear to players, as well as not oblige players to take part in publicity.

The Gambling Commission has moved to build in the initial uptake of the three operators by stating that all firms across the sector must now also adopt similar changes or risk facing regulatory action.

George Lusty, project director at the CMA, said: “Gambling always carries a risk, but players should never face unfair restrictions that prevent them from getting at their money.

“Firms mustn’t stack the odds against players, by putting unfair obstacles in their way, or making it difficult for them to stop gambling when they want to.”

Sarah Gardner, executive director of the Gambling Commission, added: “We expect all Gambling Commission licensed businesses to immediately review the promotions and sign up deals they offer customers and take whatever steps they need to take, to the same timescales agreed by the three operators, to ensure they comply

“Operators should be very aware that we will continue to work closely with the CMA to ensure customers are getting a fair deal across the gambling industry.”

Related article: UKGC urges operators to review ‘unfair’ terms and conditions

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