Online Gambling Operators Warned On Delays In Paying Out Gambler Winnings

Competition and Markets Authority says it has launched action against a number of online gambling firms over unfair practices

Online gambling operators face further threats from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, which has warned operators against delaying the pay-out of legitimate winnings to online punters without justification.

The Authority noted in a statement Thursday that it has already launched a number of actions against operators alleged to have carried out such questionable delays, observing that imposing daily, weekly or monthly limits on withdrawals were of particular concern, along with arbitrary short deadlines on the time customers have to verify their identity as a condition of withdrawing funds.

The CMA also highlighted dormancy terms that allow firms to confiscate funds or impose apparently excessive charges after a certain period of gambling account inactivity, revealing that it would be investigating this practice following actions on bonus promotional issues against major groups like Ladbrokes, William Hill and PT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Playtech that runs Titanbet and Winner.

Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the trade body Remote Gaming Association, said that the CMA had warned operators that it would not hesitate to take action on dubious operational practices that prejudice the gambler, and that issues around delayed withdrawals or the terms attached to the withdrawal process have for a long time been one of the most common areas of consumer complaints.

“The correct and proper application of anti-fraud and anti-money laundering controls is frequently what lies behind delays and we are collectively seeking ways to better explain that to customers,” he said.

“However, the CMA has identified a number of cases that are not justified on these grounds. Where they have deemed that customers have not been dealt with fairly then it must be right for them to take action. Where common themes or failings emerge then we will make every effort to disseminate those across the sector so that the same mistakes are not repeated.”