CMA Investigates Online Gambling Firms for Withdrawal Delays

The Competition and Markets Authority will take the necessary measures to prevent online gambling operators from setting unrealistic terms relating to money withdrawals. The CMA already took action against a number of UK PayPal casinos, including William Hill and Ladbrokes.

The main problem with withdrawals is that many online gambling platforms set low withdrawal limits. Furthermore, their customers have daily, weekly, and monthly limits on the amount of money they can withdraw from the site. The problem with this is that the withdrawal limits are constantly decreasing. The CMA strives to prevent online gambling sites from setting them irrationally low.

Another issue that caught the CMA’s attention is the verification process that online gambling firms set as the condition for withdrawing money. The identity verification process itself is not a problem, and it is more than necessary. It helps online gambling companies check who their customers are. More importantly, the identification process shows how old customers are and whether they’ve self-excluded themselves from gambling. The problems arise when gambling companies set a short timeframe for completing the verification process.

Additional points of contention

The requirements attached to withdrawing bonus funds are another problematic area. In February, the Committee of Advertising Practice criticized online gambling companies for controversial gambling advertising practices as well. Gambling operators advertise risk-free deposit bonuses, free bets, and promotions in general as more tempting than they actually are. This can potentially have a negative influence on problematic gamblers and young people.

The Competition and Markets Authority urges gambling companies to make their promotions as transparent as possible and present promotions’ terms in a straightforward manner. For example, we’ve seen incredible bonuses with high wagering requirements too often. There are also casinos, such as BGO, that offer bonuses without a wagering requirement. However, these casinos have deposit and withdrawal fees.

One thing is for sure – online gambling firms should revise their practices if any of them trap customers’ funds. The CMA will take necessary measures against gambling platforms that set unclear or unreasonable rules on how and when online gamblers can withdraw their funds. The UK Gambling Commission fully supports the CMA’s investigation.

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Hristina Nikolovska

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