Posted in Industry September 27, 2018
UKGC and CMA Actions
It is unfortunate that online gambling companies still manage to find loopholes in laws that are supposed to protect customers. However, licencing agencies and commissions such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Competition and Markets Authority are pretty active and are working intensively on improving the quality of the B2C formats.
We can’t stress enough in our news articles, reports and reviews how important it is to find casinos that are regulated by reliable authorities, such as the UKGC. Gamblers who follow this advice do not end up in huge monetary losses caused by unregulated websites. As you can see, misfortunes happen to those licenced as well, but the commission makes sure to listen and do security and performance checks on a regular basis, resolving any issue in no time.
Two companies, Progress Play and Jumpman Gaming had to completely change their rules related to the withdrawal process.
The first issue was that players weren’t able to withdraw their money all at once. Even though amount limitations exist in every casino, this wasn’t the problem. The only option was to get the money in portions that were pretty small, which forced the player to stay online for a certain amount of time.
Imagine that you lose your money simply because you didn’t have enough time to spend your money on the website? It makes no sense, and even though it sounds like a fraud, the law allowed them to set such requirements, to begin with.
In case customers failed the identity check at the specific date and time, the money was taken away from them as well. As CMA stated, it makes no sense to confiscate people’s money just because they didn’t provide certain information in an extremely short time span.
CMA and UKGC know that with power comes great responsibility. They have the rights to fix issues such as this one, and it is their responsibility to do so. The commissions filed an enforcement action against the two companies, accentuating the unfair obstacles regarding the withdrawal process.
Both companies agreed to change the rules that were causing the withdrawal issue for thousands of gamblers. We don’t know the details and whose money got taken away, but one thing is sure – both companies are under the eye of arguably the most powerful online gambling regulatory bodies in the world.
Good things tend to escalate rapidly after someone takes the first step, and we hope that the same will happen with this case. CMA says that all companies under their supervision will be checked additionally in order to remove any similar rules from the terms of service.
Jumpman Gaming operates multiple B2C slots and bingo websites but also a couple of other sites defined as B2B. The public is still uncertain about the exact damage that has been done in the past regarding this matter, and we’re yet to see if the company will suffer any sanctions because of what they did. Progress Play works with big names in the industry such as NetEnt, Scientific Games, Microgaming, NextGen Gaming, Cryptologic, Blueprint Gaming and Big Time Gaming. How the software development and operating firms affiliated with them will react to the news is yet to be seen, but one thing is sure – they don’t want any sort of negative reputation at the moment.
The goal is not only to find and solve problems such as this one but to also prevent as many as possible. Only those that are in a position to make decisions and set the rules know how to do this, and here’s what they have to say about future plans.
George Lusty, CMA’s Consumer Protection Senior Director, states that online gamblers must be able to walk away with the money they “earned” whenever they desire. It is important to draw attention to this newsworthiness because they are expecting other companies to do what Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play did, and that’s to scrap the unfair rules related to payments.
Paul Hope, an Executive Director at the UK Gambling Commission, supports what CMA’s research and investigation managed to do. He agrees with George Lusty that other companies are most likely going to make the changes themselves to avoid getting caught, but if they for some reason don’t, the commissions might be more strict.
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