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Compliance Updates

CMA announces results of online gambling probe

Niji Narayan

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CMA announces results of online gambling probe
Photo Credit: PA
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the regulatory body responsible for competition and consumer enforcement in the UK, has released the report of the investigation that it started two years ago about the unfair practices in online gambling industry.

The main focus of the probe the options for players to withdraw their funds and CMA pressure has led to two more companies removing obstacles put in place to keep players money in the game, even when they are not interested in continuing to gamble.

Progress Play and Jumpman Gaming, two smaller UK online gambling operators, had set in place elaborate terms and conditions that would keep their players from withdrawing their funds if they had not logged in to their accounts within a certain amount of time or if they were too slow in proving their identity.

Unfair trade practices

In its guidance note, the CMA concluded that such practices were unfair in light of Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices 2008 (CPRs) law.

At the beginning of the report explaining the investigation, the CMA outlined the key questions they were seeking answers for. Under the CRA, all contract terms must be fair and transparent, and the CMA was looking to see whether certain terms in online gambling contracts created “a significant imbalance, contrary to the requirement of good faith, to the detriment of the consumer.”

Under the CPRs the regulator was looking at possible “unfair commercial practices, in particular misleading acts or omissions” as well as “behaviour contrary to the requirements of professional diligence.”

Progress Play and Jumpman gaming now join a short list of other online operators including PT Entertainment Services, Ladbrokes and William Hill in adjusting their practices to fall into line with the CMA’s requirements.

Giants like William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment had been involved in creating restrictions on players cashing out while using a casino bonus offer. While they were earning or using their bonus gamblers on these sites were prevented from cashing out or required to forfeit the proceeds they had earned off the bonus is they wanted their money. Such practices were deemed unfair trading practices by the CMA.

As a result, all of the firms have now adopted policies that reflect the flowing conditions:

“Promotional Play Restrictions and Wagering Requirements (if applicable) do not apply to any play by a consumer with their Deposit Balance except where ingame mechanisms automatically prevent a consumer from placing a wager that contravenes the Promotional Play Restrictions.”

In a nutshell, this is designed to ensure that a player may cash out even while the bonus is in play and that their request to withdraw funds from their own account will not void the bonus as operators are not prohibited from offering such terms and conditions.

The CMA pointed out that this method of sanctioning players who wish to withdrawal their own funds creates unacceptable and unfair pressure on players to continue to keep gambling even when they have decided they are no longer interested in doing so.

Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of the UK Gambling Commission stated, “We back the action taken by the CMA today. Gambling firms must treat their customers fairly and not attach unreasonable terms and conditions to their promotions and offers.

We expect all Gambling Commission licensed businesses to immediately review the promotions and sign up deals they offer customers and take whatever steps they need to take, to the same timescales agreed by the three operators, to ensure they comply.”

Source: usaonlinecasino.com

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Compliance Updates

Spain Moves Forward on Gambling Ads Ban

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: casinobeats.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

The PSOE minority government in Spain is going to accept all the recommendations of Ombudsman Francisco Fernández Marugán to ban gambling advertising.

The Ministry of Finance has accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations. That way, departments would have to enforce new restrictions on the gaming industry. The authorities will soon draft a Royal Decree to establish restrictions on gambling advertising in Spain.

The Ombudsman filed his recommendation with the ministries of Treasury and the Health, Consumer and Welfare. Within the filing, he asked for a complete ban on gambling advertising in Spain.

“kids’ viewing time needs to be clean of gambling ads and no celebrities should be shown advertising gambling,” he said.

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Compliance Updates

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to Disclose Loot Boxes Odds

Niji Narayan

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed that the console makers are working on policies that will require disclosure on loot boxes odds. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are working on policies that would require a loot boxes disclosure on their systems.

“These required disclosures will also apply to game updates if the update adds new loot box features. The precise timing of this disclosure requirement is still being worked out, but the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy,” Michael Warnecke, ESA chief counsel of tech policy said.

The list of member companies that committed to implementing the changes include: Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast.

“I’m happy to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games developed for their platform. Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features. And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomised virtual items in games that are available on their platforms,” Warnecke said.

“The major console makers are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items,” Warnecke added.

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Compliance Updates

Green Jade Games Secures Malta Licence

Niji Narayan

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Green Jade Games Secures Malta Licence
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Green Jade Games has secured a supplier licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The licence will allow Green Jade Games to offer its online casino games to the operators in regulated markets across Europe and further afield. The MGA licence comes just a few weeks after Green Jade Games secured a supplier licence from UK Gambling Commission.

Green Jade’s games combine gambling and skills to create games that allow players to determine the course of the narrative and the outcome of the game. The deeply entertaining games of Green Jade allow players to improve their skills at deploying game features while also having the opportunity to win potentially large cash prizes from relatively small stakes.

“Obtaining our licence from the Malta Gaming Authority is the next step in our plans to provide our games to all of the major online casino operators in regulated and regulating markets around the world. Our games are truly unique and genuinely innovative and now that we hold an MGA permit we can offer them to more operators, and players, than ever before. It also proves that we are meeting the highest possible standards when it comes to responsible gambling and protecting players,” Benedict McDonagh, CEO of Green Jade Games said.

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