Further CMA enforcement action against online gambling operators

The CMA has launched enforcement action against a number of online gambling firms in respect of practices that may place unfair obstacles in the way of people withdrawing their money (whether as part of a promotion or not). This follows the CMA’s announcement of a new line of enquiry in this respect in June last year.

As is made clear on the GOV.UK website, issues of particular concern that the CMA has raised include:

  • Daily, weekly or monthly limits on withdrawing funds that appear unreasonably low;
  • Potentially arbitrary short deadlines on the time customers have to verify their identity as a condition of withdrawing funds, sometimes providing for forfeiture of consumer’s funds if missed; and
  • Dormancy terms that allow firms to confiscate funds or impose apparently excessive charges after a certain period of inactivity.

This has been welcomed by the Gambling Commission, whose Programme Director, Ian Angus, is reported as saying: “We support the CMA’s investigation – gambling firms should not be placing unreasonable restrictions on when and how consumers can withdraw money from their online gambling accounts. While the CMA continues its enquiry, we expect all online operators to look closely at the terms and practices they have in place and consider if they are fair on their customers.” 

The CMA will continue to update its case page on a regular basis as its investigation progresses.