Gambling Commission Call for Clearer Terms and Practices

Gambling Commission Call for Clearer Terms and Practices

Do you bother to read all the terms and conditions seen on gambling sites? If you do, then it’s possible that they might sometimes be a bit difficult to understand fully. The Gambling Commission (GC) have now updated the guidance that they give to operators on fair and transparent terms and practices.

This comes after the GC saw some terms that are being used by licensees and found them to be potentially unfair. One example was for a promotion for online games that allowed a licensee to make void real money wins if they believe the customer had inadvertently broken the staking rules. Another saw licensees able to reduce potential winnings on open bets.

The GC have said that they are fully aware of some terms and conditions that anyone reading them would find difficult to fully understand. Those of us who do read terms and conditions probably didn’t need to be told that was the case.

This is often the case with welcome offers. These often see free bets offered to players but aren’t always as good as they sound. One common condition attached to such offers is the fulfilment of wagering requirements before a withdrawal can be made.

Huge Wagering Requirements for Bonus Withdrawl

Often these can be so high that large amounts must be wagered, making it difficult to have anything left of the bonus to withdraw. Failure to fulfil the wagering requirements in a set time see the bonus funds lost.The Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) require that rewards and bonuses be constructed in such a manner that they are socially responsible.

The GC accept that bonus offers regularly contain wagering requirements. However, they do not expect them to be so high that they encourage excessive play. Sometimes wagering requirements (particularly for casinos) can be 30x the bonus or even higher.

A bonus of £200 would therefore require the player to wager £6000 before a withdrawal can be made. The site offering the bonus can also declare that certain games contribute more to fulfilling the wagering requirements than others. This makes it difficult to have any bonus funds left to withdraw.

The GC have now explained that licenses need to review their terms and conditions. The aim is to ensure that they comply with the relevant consumer protection laws. Those companies that have been granted licenses by the GC must show that their terms and both fair and transparent.

Consumers can of course complain about terms. If they aren’t satisfied with the response they receive, they can then refer the matter to an alternative dispute resolution provider. The GC then expect consumer protection legislation to be fully considered, for example deciding whether the contract term being questioned is a fair one.