The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a further investigation into gambling firms withdrawal procedures.
Detailing “enforcement action” being launched against a “number of online gambling firms,” concerns have been raised regarding unfair obstacles that may be placed in the way of people withdrawing their money, whether that be part of promotion or not.
In its statement the CMA highlighted three specific areas of concern:
- Daily, weekly or monthly limits on withdrawing funds that appear unreasonably low;
- Potentially arbitrary short deadlines on the time customers have to verify their identity as a condition of withdrawing funds, sometimes providing for forfeiture of consumer’s funds if missed; and
- Dormancy terms that allow firms to confiscate funds or impose apparently excessive charges after a certain period of inactivity.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has welcomed the fresh investigation, with Ian Angus, Programme Director at the UKGC, stating: “We support the CMA’s investigation – gambling firms should not be placing unreasonable restrictions on when and how consumers can withdraw money from their online gambling accounts.
“While the CMA continues its enquiry, we expect all online operators to look closely at the terms and practices they have in place and consider if they are fair on their customers.”
This follows news last month that operators were told to take “immediate steps” to comply with consumer protection law, following a joint UKGC and CMA investigation.
Three operators, Ladbrokes, William Hill and PT Entertainment, a Playtech subsidiary, agreed to change the way in which bonus promotions are offered, ensuring players can always access and release their own money.