The UK Gambling Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for February 2, 2018

UK Gambling Groups Bow To Regulatory Pressure On Promos

Ladbrokes, William Hill, and PT Entertainment have agreed to change online games promotions

UK gambling groups Ladbrokes, William Hill, and PT Entertainment have agreed to change online games promotions following regulatory pressure, according to a BBC report Thursday.

Following an investigation (see previous InfoPowa reports) the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said punters must be able to cash out when they want, and not have to play more to release winnings, warning operators that they must halt ‘unfair online promotions that trap players’ money’.

The changes will apply to all promotions and include:

* Players will not be required to play multiple times before they can withdraw their own money;

* Gambling firms must ensure that any restrictions on gameplay are made clear to players, and cannot rely on vague terms to take players’ money;

* Gambling firms must not make players take part in publicity to collect winnings;

The Gambling Commission, which worked with the CMA on its investigation, said companies across the whole sector must “promptly adopt similar changes”.

“Firms not doing so will face regulatory action from the Gambling Commission,” the CMA said in a statement. Guidance for gambling firms will be published later this year.

Gambling Commission executive director, Sarah Gardner, said: “Gambling firms must treat their customers fairly and not attach unreasonable terms and conditions to their promotions and offers.”

Commenting on the CMA findings, the Remote Gambling Association said: “There are clearly lessons to be learned for some companies and we will work with the Gambling Commission and others to raise standards wherever necessary.

“We have already held productive discussions with the CMA and the Commission to consider how best to achieve that.”

A Ladbrokes Coral statement said the company recognised that “things had unintentionally gone too far” and that the new rules would improve transparency.

“It is never comfortable being in the spotlight on these sorts of issues but we are pleased that a way forward has now been identified and are committed to ensuring we meet the standards set,” the company said.

William Hill said in a statement: “As one of the largest online betting and gaming brands in the UK, William Hill has worked with the CMA to ensure that its concerns have been fully met.

“We welcome the standards and principles that the CMA has outlined and we look forward to their adoption across the industry.”

UKGC Opens Consultation On Marketing And Advertising

Proposal emphasises fair and open practise with consumers

The UK Gambling Commission has opened a public consultation on proposed changes to license conditions covering marketing and advertising, terms and conditions and dispute resolution.

The proposal, which includes a focus on compliance with the UK Advertising Codes, proposes improved consumer complaint handling including the introduction of an eight-week time limit for licensees to deal with gambling complaints.

Sarah Gardner, Commission Executive Director, said:

“We are proposing these changes because of the risk of consumer harm, concern about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling and concerns about advertising.

“We’re very keen to hear the views of all those with an interest in the gambling industry.”

The consultation will close April 22, 2018.

More information at: http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Consultations/Open-consultations/Proposed-changes-to-LCCP-fair-and-open.aspx

Operator Advisory From UK Gaming Commission

Getting on board with GAMSTOP

Online operators will be required to comply with LCCP Social Responsibility Code 3.5.5, which requires online operators to participate in a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.

The progress by the industry towards implementing a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme is now at a point where operators should register.

Further information about this can be found on the RGA website and operators can register now via the GAMSTOP operator portal.

If you have any questions in relation to GAMSTOP email info@gamstop.co.uk.

https://www.rga.eu.com/gamstop-registration-now-open/

https://www.operatorgamstop.co.uk/