The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in conjunction with the UK Gambling Commission announced on Friday 21st October that they have launched an investigation into whether online gambling companies are treating their customers fairly.
Specifically they will be looking into concerns that players are losing out as a result of :
Being locked into complex and strict requirements linked to gaming promotions that are difficult to understand and may be un-achievable.
Companies having a wide discretion to cancel bets or alter odds after bets have been accepted, because they made a mistake when the odds were first set.
Terms restricting players’ ability to challenge a company’s decision.
Certainly the first area is one that I’m most familiar with.
It’s aimed at Promotions and Bonuses that come with complex wagering requirements or rules about how much you can bet and on what games.
This has probably got to be the most complex area and if you’re not an experienced online player you can almost be duped into depositing because the terms promise free bets or matched funds.
In reality they are very difficult to turn into hard cash that you can withdraw.
That’s why at www.livecasinocomparer.com we never recommend taking Bonuses unless you fully appreciate what you are getting into.
If you’ve experienced issues then the CMA are interested in hearing about your experiences.
Contact them at [email protected] and state clearly in the subject line of your email whether the information relates to sign-up promotions, altered odds or cancelled bets, or terms that restrict the ability to claim.
The CMA has today announced it is investigating whether online gambling firms are treating their customers fairly.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is today issuing Information Notices under consumer protection legislation requiring evidence from companies as a first step to establishing whether enforcement action is required. It is also asking people who use gambling sites and have experienced such issues to provide us with further material.
Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director for Consumer Enforcement, said:
Gambling inevitably involves taking a risk, but it shouldn’t be a con. We’re worried players are losing out because gambling sites are making it too difficult for them to understand the terms on which they’re playing, and may not be giving them a fair deal. We are now investigating to see whether firms are breaking the law.
Around 5.5 million Britons gamble online and they must be treated fairly. We’ve heard worrying complaints suggesting people may be lured into signing up for promotions with little chance of winning because of unfair and complex conditions. We’re now working closely with the Gambling Commission to examine this more closely.
Sarah Harrison, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, added:
We expect the gambling industry to ensure terms and conditions are not unfair. However, operators are still not doing enough. I continue to have concerns that many of these appear to bamboozle rather than help the customer make informed choices.
Gambling, by its very nature, is always going to involve risk but customers must have faith that if they win, they will not end up feeling that the deck is stacked against them because of an obscure condition that they did not properly understand.
We approached the CMA to work with them to address issues in the gambling sector and we are delighted to have agreed a joint programme of work to ensure terms are fair and transparent.
Online gambling has grown by around 146% since 2009 and now more than 5.5 million people regularly log on to sports betting, gaming and casinos using gambling websites. The initial CMA review of the £4 billion-a-year sector has highlighted examples of potentially unfair treatment that require more comprehensive examination. In particular, the CMA is concerned that players may be losing out as a result of:
This investigation is part of a joint programme of work with the Gambling Commission to tackle issues around fairness and transparency in the gambling industry. The investigation may lead to further action, such as enforcement action, or guidance being issued by the CMA or the Gambling Commission, to secure improved compliance across the remote gambling sector.
I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.
Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?
Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?
Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?
Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?
Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?
Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?
After all that, would I play there regularly?