CMA urges operators to improve consumer protection

The authority urged operators to step up its protection measures. Credits: ft.com
The authority urged operators to step up its protection measures. Credits: ft.com

The authority asked operators to improve its consumer protection measures and to comply with the law.

UK.- The Gambling Commission for England, Scotland and Wales, and UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released a letter directed to operators in which it asks them to ramp up its consumer protection regulations to make sure that players are treated fairly.

The letter was sent to licensees across the UK after a joint effort between the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the CMA. These two entities came up with a study into suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the remote sector.

The authorities said that they identified significant shortcomings within the sector that had undermined consumer trust and confidence in relation to transparency and fairness. Furthermore, they identified that consumers could have been potentially misled by terms and practices for online bonuses.

Operators have to step up their practices and go further than simply complying with the published undertakings, the UKGC and CMA said. They also encouraged licensees to audit their respective terms and conditions, examine existing business systems and practices and continuously review them to make sure that they keep high standards of consumer protection.

“Making changes to promotions and withdrawal practices is an important start, but it is only one aspect of achieving compliance,” the letter said. “More needs to be done by the sector to win back consumer trust. The best operators going forward will be those who lead by example, build on the work undertaken by the CMA and treat customers fairly and responsibly.

“The Commission will continue to look at how firms treat consumers and the terms and practices that they employ when assessing suitability to hold a gambling licence,” said the letter.

“It is important that you learn from the work that we have undertaken and ensure that compliance with consumer law is at the heart of your business model; this is essential for the sector to rebuild and maintain consumer trust,” it added.

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CMA UK