Leave or remain? What to do if you decide to exit the UK market

‘Brexit’ seems to be the topic that everyone wants to talk about right now and the Great Britain Gambling Commission seems to have followed suit.  The Commission have released their own advice about what to do when a gambling business decides to leave the British market, preparing advice for both licensed gambling businesses in the high street and online, and to those individuals holding PMLs.

The Commission have reminded all operators of its expectancy that all gambling businesses have plans in place and take steps to make sure that consumers are not unnecessarily disadvantaged if they do have to close for whatever reason. On an ongoing basis, it is expected that businesses: (i) are aware of their liabilities and check they can cover these; (ii) warn consumers placing long-term bets that their stakes and winnings are not secured in the event of insolvency; and (iii) give consumers information about the level of funds protection in place, as set out in Licence Condition 4.2.1 of the LCCP.

The Commission have explained that if a business decides to close, be it for insolvency reasons or any other reason, they are expected to do the following:

  • provide clear and concise information to consumers;
  • show they are in control of the situation by keeping consumers updated and giving information on any potential routes for redress (e.g. through direct contact and wider messages on social media); and
  • discharge all their liabilities to their consumers whenever possible.

As well as providing information to licensees, the Commission has provided some helpful advice for consumers; such as:

  • consumers should make sure they are familiar with an operator’s terms and conditions (with particular reference to the protection of their money which should be stated in the terms); and
  • whilst the operator’s alternate dispute resolution provider may not be able to help the consumer, in all situations, consumers retain the right to pursue civil legal action through the courts if they are unhappy with the action taken by a gambling business.

Further information on this and a list of practical advice for both gambling businesses and consumers can be found here.