CMA list of “do’s and “don’ts” for the online gambling industry

The CMA has published the following “60-second summary” list of “Do’s and Don’ts for the online gambling industry” (that can also be downloaded below) arising from today’s announcement requiring all online gambling operators to review their terms and practices for fairness and change them as required.

Do:

  • Regularly review your terms and practices to ensure they are fair and comply with consumer
  • Clearly and promptly communicate terms and conditions so customers know what to expect
  • Give customers the information they need to decide if a promotion is right for them
  • Allow customers to exit promotions at any time with their remaining deposit, plus any winnings from play with their deposit, and make this opportunity clear to them
  • Ensure customers can clearly distinguish between playing with bonus funds and playing with their own money

Don’t:

  • If you offer customers a ‘free bet’, don’t change the deal once they have started playing
  • Deny customers access to their own money – including winnings earned from their deposits
  • Attach complicated or unfair play restrictions to customer deposits
  • Require customers to take part in publicity

Affected operators might also find it helpful to read the CMA’s advice for gamblers on the same subject (that can also be downloaded below) and view a Youtube video posted by the CMA.

George Lusty, CMA Project Director, is quoted as saying in relation to today’s developments:

  • “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.
  • The CMA is here to make sure businesses’ terms and practices are fair for their customers. We welcome the commitment from these leading firms to address the problems our investigation uncovered, by making important changes to their terms and conditions.
  • We now expect others to follow, and look forward to the Gambling Commission’s continued work to make sure all operators in this sector play fair with their customers’ money”.

You can read here about the Gambling Commission’s threat of enforcement action in the event that steps are not taken by all online gambling operators to comply with consumer protection law requirements within the same timescales that are set out in the undertakings given to the CMA by each of William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment.