November 24, 2017
Speaking at the Gambling Commission’s Raising Standards Conference 2017 on Tuesday, 21 November, CMA Project Director George Lusty provided an update on the Competition and Market Authority’s ongoing investigation into potentially unfair and misleading terms and practices in the remote gambling sector.
The Project Director took the opportunity to explain the enforcement steps taken by the CMA since the launch of its investigation in October of last year, outlining that the ongoing enforcement cases against a number of operators will likely conclude by operators under investigation giving “acceptable undertakings” to address the CMA’s concerns.
Most notably, the presentation highlighted the 6 key concerns identified as a result of the enforcement activity and, dealing with each key area in turn, addressed how the CMA and Gambling Commission expect operators to respond.
The CMA was very clear that it expects ALL operators to be taking steps to remedy the concerns identified by the time the undertakings are published (i.e. not just those that have been made the subject of enforcement action). A number of the practices identified are commonplace, meaning the industry will need to make some fundamental changes, particularly around casino and free bet promotions.
The CMA/Gambling Commission made clear that it expects operators to be compliant by the time the CMA publishes the undertakings and that it would seek to enforce against non-compliant operators from that date. When asked, the CMA was not able to give a firm timetable, but they revealed the next waypoint in the investigation is likely to be in December 2017 meaning the industry will need to respond quickly to the CMA’s call to action.
The full speech by George Lusty can be found here.
We have set out a table which you can download here, outlining the key concerns, what operators need to do to address them and then give an indication of the types of questions that operators should be asking themselves. There will be a jointly organized event in the New Year in which operators will be able to ask questions of the CMA/Commission. Clearly, some operators will have more to do than others, but given the CMA/Commission’s call to action and indicative timeline, operators who fail to take the necessary action now will run the risk of enforcement during the course of next year.