British Gambling Commission probes complaints about withdrawals

The Gambling Commission requested data from some of the biggest operators.
The Gambling Commission requested data from some of the biggest operators.

The Gambling Commission says it has noted an ongoing trend of complaints about problems withdrawing money from online gambling accounts.

UK.- The British Gambling Commission has revealed that it is looking into continued high numbers of customer complaints about issues encounterted when seeking to withdraw funds from online gambling accounts. Director of communications Lucy Denton has written on the regulator’s website that this is the most common cause for the complaints it receives.

She said the regulator is now reviewing licensed operators’ withdrawal request processes after requesting data on the matter from some of the biggest operators. Insights from the review could lead to changes in its regulatory framework.

The data provided suggests that 99 per cent of customer withdrawals requests are completed in between 24 and 48 hours. Denton said that while that figure seems high, it still meant a lot of customers were being left unsatisifed.

“When you have over 20 million people gambling every four weeks, a mere 1 per cent of withdrawals taking longer can still mean a lot of frustrated customers,” she wrote.

She argued that there should be little or no delays in the return funds to customers when a withdrawal request is made, including in cases of suspected gambling harm.

She said: “It is not acceptable for operators to introduce friction when a customer tries to withdraw from their account rather than the point at which they deposit into the account, or to place the operator’s commercial interests over those of their customers.

“Similarly, any information the operator requires from the customer to identify whether they are at risk of gambling-related harm should not be used to delay or prevent the customer withdrawing their funds.”

She said the Gambling Commission will include customer withdrawal complaints in the Business Plan that it announced in April. The plan sets out the regulator’s focus on various aspects of non-compliance. She also highlighted previous steps taken, such as its 2019 update to its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP). The regulator plans to continue to monitor customer complaints.

New Gambling Commission consultations

The Gambling Commission has announced that this month it will open four consultations laid out in the government’s gambling white paper following its review of the 2005 Gambling Act. It will publish consultations on online game design, financial risk and vulnerability checks for online gambling, direct marketing and cross-selling and age verification at land-based gambling venues.

The regulator will also open two consultations not mandated by the gambling white paper on the rules for personal management licences and the procedures for regulatory panels. It said it had chosen to run these consultations at the same time in accordance with its plan to gather consultations into windows instead of running them sporadically at random times through the year.

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