The joint investigation of Competition & Markets Authority and the Gambling Commission is over. The two regulatory bodies have published an open letter with the results, and they are promising.
Here’s what the investigation was about and how the results benefit you.
CMA meets the Gambling Commission
Competition & Markets Authority oversees the market in the UK to ensure all participants are acting fairly. It blocks mergers and prevents cartels from appearing on the market. It also makes sure customers are treated fairly by companies.
This was their concern with the gambling market. The regulator believed some gamblers can be suffering from terms of service that are beneficial for the online casino but not for the player.
If you’ve already played at any Irish or UK online casino, you know what they’re talking about. You can’t make a withdrawal unless you bet at least 35 times the bonus sum. Some casinos don’t let you withdraw the funds until a certain time passes after the initial deposit.
Placing a complaint is also an issue in many casinos. You can’t do that if too much time has passed after the issue, you want to complain about.
This is why CMA contacted the Gambling Commission. They created a team to investigate how casinos are treating their customers. Now this investigation is over. Here’s what they found out.
CMA and UKGC have found that the terms and conditions in many casinos work against the gamblers.
The minimum withdrawal amounts are very low and don’t match up with the minimum deposit amounts. For instance, you can make a deposit of €5 but can withdraw only starting with €25.
The weekly and monthly withdrawal caps were also found to be unfair. CMA recommends to make them much higher to facilitate large withdrawals from large wins.
Lastly, the two regulatory bodies found that the wagering requirements are unfair to players. They urge gambling industry companies to stop this practice and allow users to make withdrawals without betting many times the deposit.
The market reaction
Six large gambling companies including Ladbrokes promised to comply with the new rules that CMA and UKGC tried to establish.
This means some casinos will be waiving off wagering requirements. You will now be able to make a withdrawal any time you want. No more betting 35 times your deposit sum to withdraw the winnings.
Even though these findings are not laws just yet, companies want to comply with them. It’s just a matter of time for them to become compulsory.
Once they do become necessary to follow, it can mean a complete change in the gambling industry. Casinos won’t force you to comply with ridiculous wagering requirements.
The threat of money laundering
This is definitely good news for players both in the UK and in Ireland. Since we don’t have a regulator yet, the odds are its policies will be copied from those of our neighbour, at least partially.
However, there a risk of increased money laundering. The thing is while these rules are definitely benefitting the casino over the player, they also prevent money laundering. It’s unclear now how CMA and UKGC are going to make the ruleset both convenient for the gamblers and complying with AML policy. However, their partnership is far from finished.