On 6 February 2018, the Gambling Commission hosted an event at ICE with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Advertising Standards Authority to provide an overview of their ongoing work in the area of unfair promotional terms and misleading practices in the online gambling sector.
This included a presentation by the CMA entitled “CMA action in the remote gambling sector: Overview for industry” (the slides for which have today been available on the CMA’s website and can also be downloaded below) in which it explained:
- its role and approach to enforcing consumer law,
- why it decided to investigate the remote gambling sector,
- its announcement of undertakings given by William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment, whereby they have each committed to change how they offer bonus promotions to customers playing online,
- an overview of key terms and practices of concern to the CMA,
- changes expected of gambling operators and next steps required by the CMA, and
- the CMA’s answers to the following eight key questions:
- Why should all operators implement changes to the same deadlines as those operators consulted by CMA?
- Are the undertakings only relevant to the three operators?
- What if an operator cannot make the required changes in time?
- What sorts of interim solutions can operators put in place?
- Is it just the main firms that need to make changes, or do they have to make their affiliates do so too?
- Will operators be allowed to run promotions where wagering requirements are linked to winnings from bonuses as long as players can withdraw their full deposit balance at all times?
- In Undertaking 10, what is meant in practice by “materially affect the consumer’s ability to complete the qualifying bets…”?
- Are operators meant to be applying these principles to everything they do?
You can read more about the CMA ordering gambling operators to stop unfair promotions here, the very tight timescales (in the main, by 28 February 2018) within which the Gambling Commission requires compliance with that order here and the CMA’s list of “do’s” and “don’ts” for the online gambling industry here.