CMA ups the ante and sets sights on bonus T&Cs

CMA ups the ante and sets sights on bonus T&Cs

Thursday, November 23, 2017 Posted by Michael Lawson
The announcement comes after a joint CMA and Gambling Commission study

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fired warning shots in the direction of gambling operators at the Gambling Commission’s Raising Standard Conference’s 2017.

The governmental authority voiced its concerns with regards to the terms and conditions of online bonus offers, and suggested new rules surrounding bonuses may be implemented.

CMA Project Director George Lusty outlined six points of concern in this area, including “lack of transparency”, “restriction on withdrawing unspent deposit funds” and “restriction on withdrawing unspent deposit funds”.

To remedy these issues, Lusty and the CMA recommended the removal of promotions that include restrictions on the withdrawal of deposit winnings, and clearer guidelines surrounding restricted-fund gameplay. He also stated his belief that these issues couldn’t be “adequately addressed through improved transparency.”

The CMA’s announcement follows a joint investigation with the Gambling Commission into unfair and misleading online gambling terms and conditions.

The Gambling Commission Executive Director Sarah Gardner, added: “It is of paramount importance that consumers are empowered to make informed choices about their gambling and that the information available about their rights is correct and clear to them.

“The CMA’s findings have indicated that currently there is an imbalance between gambling firms and consumers – too often weighted in the favour of the operator. The CMA has set out its concerns to the gambling industry – this sets out clearly the changes which online gambling operators need to make to ensure promotions and practices are compliant with consumer protection law.

“We have been making it clear to the industry that they need to get their house in order on this. The CMA has now set out clearly its concerns so there is no excuse for operators not to act urgently in the interests of consumers. We plan to step up action in the New Year to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly."

Totally Gaming says: The Competition and Markets Authority and Gambling Commission are pulling no punches with the findings from their latest joint investigation. They have sent a strong message to online gambling operators that these attention-grabbing bonus offers must be amended. This is the last thing needed for these operators, particularly when combined with the imminent restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

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