Online gambling businesses in the UK are being told to remove unfair restrictions placed on customers withdrawing money from their gambling accounts or face action by the Gambling Commission.
This comes following the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announcing the outcome of its latest investigation into unfair terms and practices in the online gambling sector.
The CMA has published enforcement action against two gambling firms, which have now committed to make changes that ensure customers are not unfairly prevented from withdrawing their money. All gambling firms are now required to adhere to the standards set out by the CMA.
Paul Hope, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, said: “We are committed to raising standards for consumers in the gambling sector to ensure they are getting a fair deal. We’ve already been working with the CMA to tackle unfair online gambling promotions, and today’s announcement will improve how customers are treated.
“In July, we announced new rules (1), which will make it quicker and easier for the Commission to take action for breaches of consumer law. That includes taking action where firms breach the principles laid out by the CMA. We support the action taken by the CMA and expect all online gambling businesses to take immediate action to update their practices in line with these, or face action by the Commission in the future.”
Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play were two of the first online groups to formally agree to remove terms and conditions which stopped players getting hold of their own money in one go.
Until now, players using Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play could be made to withdraw their money in instalments over an extended period, which could lead some to gamble again where they might otherwise make a withdrawal.
The companies have also agreed to stop using unfair terms which meant they could confiscate money from players’ accounts because they had not logged in for a certain amount of time.
In addition, Progress Play has agreed not to confiscate players’ money if they do not meet their identity check rules within a specific timeframe. Whilst companies need to be able to make appropriate and proportionate identity checks to help prevent money laundering and fraud, they cannot justify confiscating someone’s money simply because they do not provide information within a specific time frame.
George Lusty, Senior Director for Consumer Protection at the CMA, said: “People choosing to gamble online should be able to walk away with their own money whenever they want to. Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play are the first to commit to scrap their unfair withdrawal rules, but we expect companies across the sector to follow suit so no-one gets caught out with unfair terms and conditions when gambling online.”