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UK-Facing Gambling Operators Face Regulatory Pressure over Unfair Sign-Up Bonus Promotions

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Three major UK gambling operators have agreed to implement certain changes in their online gaming promotions, following an investigation and as a result from a regulatory pressure by UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Such changes will be required to be rolled out industrywide, the regulatory body also pointed out in a statement from earlier today.

Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, and PT Entertainment, which operates the Titanbet iGaming brand, have agreed to allow their players to withdraw their winnings whenever they want to without being required to fulfill different terms and conditions beforehand.

The CMA launched a probe into the nation’s gambling industry in October 2016. It received input from a number of online gambling customers, who complained that they were not able to collect their winnings due to unclear and misleading sign-up promotion terms and conditions.

Last year, the competition regulator said that it was looking into the activity of several major online gambling operators, explaining that these might have been breaching consumer protection laws.

Sign-up promotions with cash bonuses of different size have long been among gaming companies’ favorite means for attracting players to their websites. However, such promotions often come with a plethora of terms and conditions that players find difficult to interpret properly. For instance, players may be required to play more, thus wager more, at a given gambling website in order to be able to claim their winnings.

Under regulatory pressure from the CMA, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, and PT Entertainment are now planning to change their bonus promotions in a manner that will provide players with clear explanation what each promotion includes and with the capability to release their winnings whenever they want to.

The three above-mentioned operators as well as all other UK-facing gaming firms will have to adopt sign-up promotion policies that will not require from players to “play multiple times” before being able to withdraw their own money.

In addition, gambling companies will have to make sure that their customers are provided with clear information about any gameplay restrictions. Last but not least, players will no longer be required to take part in any publicity in order to be able to claim their winnings no matter of what size these are.

The CMA said that there is ongoing enforcement activity in the sector and that operators will be urged to roll out more requirements for the fair treatment of their customers. The regulator revealed that they are considering future changes in terms and conditions that require from players to withdraw winnings in installments over long periods of time.

The CMA said that it has been working closely with the UK Gambling Commission in its probe into the nation’s gambling industry. The gambling regulator released a statement, stressing that it would sanction any operator that fails to comply with customer protection laws.

The CMA said that most of the operators’ promotion practices will have to be changed by February 28, 2018. Additional changes will have to be implemented by July 31, 2018.

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