Time for online gambling operators to take action on unfair terms

The Gambling Commission has warned online gambling operators to review their terms and conditions before regulatory action is stepped up in the New Year to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.

This warning follows a speech delivered yesterday at the Gambling Commission’s annual Raising Standards conference) by George Lusty of the Competition and Markets Authority, entitled “Online gambling: the investigation so far and next steps”. A video of his speech is now available on YouTube.

The Commission’s warning is contained in a website posting (that can be downloaded below), in which Gambling Commission Executive Director, Sarah Gardner, says:

  • “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”
  • “Too often we have found that the terms and conditions have been complicated, one-sided and difficult to understand. Addressing this is a priority in our recently launched strategy – a roadmap for a fairer, and safer gambling market. Our work over the next three years will include ensuring greater transparency from gambling firms in the information they make available to their customers and we’ll be working with the industry to ensure that consumers can make decisions about their gambling more confidently.”