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Time to take action on unfair terms says Gambling Commission

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Time to take action on unfair terms says Gambling Commission
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Online gambling firms are being told to review the terms and conditions they have in place before action is stepped up in the New Year to ensure consumers are treated fairly.

This announcement comes as a result of joint work with Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), into unfair terms and misleading practices by online gambling businesses. The CMA has found that many online gambling operators could be breaking consumer protection law, through terms and conditions of bonus promotions that are not clear and instances where they have restricted customer rights and ability to access their own money and winnings.

In relation to promotional offers, some of the concerns include (1):

  • Restrictions on customers being able to withdraw their deposit balance and any winnings generated from deposits.
  • Consumers being unable to clearly distinguish between play with the bonus balance and the deposit balance, in particular, which balance they are about to play and the terms applicable.
  • Promotion specific play restrictions (eg maximum bet sizes, weighted wagering game requirements) which are not set out clearly to consumers, reserve excessive discretion to the operator, and which can have serious consequences for consumers, including the confiscation of deposits and winnings.
  • Significant conditions in relation to promotions are, more generally, not being provided to consumers in a clear, timely, transparent, non-misleading and prominent manner.
  • In relation to free bets, operators are not honouring these, despite customers having already placed one or more qualifying bets under the promotion.
  • Terms which assume consumers have consented to the use of any personal information (including their name) for promotional purposes for the benefit of the operator.

Gambling Commission Executive Director Sarah Gardner, said: “It is of paramount importance that consumers are empowered to make informed choices about their gambling and that the information available about their rights is correct and clear to them.

The CMA’s findings have indicated that currently there is an imbalance between gambling firms and consumers – too often weighted in the favour of the operator. The CMA has set out its concerns to the gambling industry – this sets out clearly the changes which online gambling operators need to make to ensure promotions and practices are compliant with consumer protection law.

We have been making it clear to the industry that they need to get their house in order on this. The CMA has now set out clearly its concerns so there is no excuse for operators not to act urgently in the interests of consumers. We plan to step up action in the New Year to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly.

Sarah adds: “Too often we have found that the terms and conditions have been complicated, one-sided and difficult to understand. Addressing this is a priority in our recently launched strategy – a roadmap for a fairer, and safer gambling market. Our work over the next three years will include ensuring greater transparency from gambling firms in the information they make available to their customers and we’ll be working with the industry to ensure that consumers can make decisions about their gambling more confidently.

Speaking to gambling firms at the Gambling Commission’s annual Raising Standards conference yesterday, the CMA gave advance warning of the changes operators are expected to make following its investigation into a number of gambling businesses.

See the CMA presentation slides and view a video (below) of the speech delivered at the conference.

The CMA will publish the findings once enforcement activity into a number of gambling operators has concluded.

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iGB L!VE announce LaunchPad, a new feature for start-ups with ‘innovation in their DNA’

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Industry professionals attending July’s edition of iGB L!VE will have access to a vibrant new feature which will showcase ground-breaking tech and innovation courtesy of the brightest start-ups and small businesses in gaming.

The iGB L!VE LaunchPad (Pulse Stage: 18 July 16.30hrs – 18.00hrs) will feature five companies to present their innovations to a panel of judges with each presentation followed by a probing Q&A session designed to interrogate the viability and commercial prowess of each product pitch.

Introducing the new feature Portfolio Director Naomi Barton, said: “iGB L!VE is constantly evolving in order to meet the business needs of stakeholders. The research programme that we undertake with customers has consistently highlighted a shared desire to always be ahead of the curve, being the first to access the very latest innovations from the start-up community is part of what iGB L!VE 2024 will deliver.

“In addition, we want to provide a platform for new talented businesses to grow by giving them extra exposure in front of an influential C-Level audience of industry investors and influencers.

“The top five products will be hand-selected by the iGB L!VE team and invited to present from the Pulse Stage. In order to help these businesses, we are providing cash prizes of £5,000 for the winner, £2,500 for second place and £1,000 for third.”

She continued: “We will be giving the feature an authentic iGB L!VE twist with the emphasis on competitive fun. To ensure this, I am delighted to confirm that 25+ year industry veteran and non-exec Clarion Gaming Chairman Michael Caselli has agreed to be our MC and will also head a panel of judges drawn from across the iGB L!VE community of industry professionals, investors and sponsors.

“Start-ups and small businesses which have innovation in their DNA can sign up for iGB LaunchPad at igblive by the 28 June deadline.”

iGB L!VE is the home of the igaming community and the only event that connects the leading igaming affiliates, operators, tech vendors, game providers and suppliers in order to maximise performance and drive tangible business growth in the following 12-18 months. iGB L!VE, which is the fastest growing igaming event, delivers unparalleled business opportunities with attendees having free access to in excess of 300 exhibitors and sponsors occupying 21,000+ square metres of gross space, a figure which is 35% higher than in 2023.

For more information on iGB L!VE (16-19 July 2024: Expo Days 17-18 July) and to register for free visit: igblive website

 

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Ortak x B.F.T.H. Arena Awards 2024 Features Mr. First Ray by Endorphina

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The Ortak x B.F.T.H. Arena Awards 2024 welcomes Endorphina among other top game developers with its Mr. First Ray, a mystical slot game that captures the essence of dawn.

This year’s competition has seen an unprecedented increase in participation, receiving over 100 submissions from more than 70 developers involved in the innovative Ortak initiative. This platform not only promotes collaboration and innovation but also integrates gaming stakes with NFTs on the Bahamut blockchain, thereby broadening investment prospects in the iGaming sector.

Mr. First Ray transports players into a world where each spin can lead to magical wins and enchanting surprises, making it a standout in this year’s entries. As the event approaches, excitement mounts among industry professionals keen to explore this showcase of creativity and excellence in game development, scheduled from July 1 to 4.

Hosted by BetConstruct, the B.F.T.H. Arena Awards provides a prestigious platform for developers to exhibit their creativity and compete for a share of the substantial 3,333,000 FTN prize pool. This year, the event has broadened its scope, introducing new award categories to further celebrate innovation in gaming.

The culmination of the event will see the winners announced at the B.F.T.H. Arena x Harmony Meetup V, ensuring an exhilarating experience for all attendees.

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SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP TO PROVIDE EURO 2024 CONTENT HUBS FOR LEADING BOOKMAKERS

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SPOTLIGHT SPORTS GROUP SUPERFEED IN-PLAY CONTENT PROVEN TO INCREASE BETTING ENGAGEMENT BY 20%
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Spotlight Sports Group (SSG), a world-leading technology, content, and media company specialising in sports betting, has partnered with both William Hill and Betfred to deliver content hubs for Euro 2024.

The upcoming international tournament provides a prime opportunity for operators to generate revenue, and Spotlight Sports Group assists in that right through industry-leading content hubs. SSG Content Hubs allow sportsbooks in any territory the chance to offer a premium and rich content experience, without the technical burden.

The end-to-end product and content solution provided by SSG includes expert editorial, data and statistics that are delivered across multiple formats and customisable for individual bookmaker websites. Designed and created in-house, the specific event hubs allow customers to provide interactive betting experiences, compatible across all devices and include live odds and add-to-bet-slip functionality.

In addition, the content hub provides a Best Bet widget that features daily accumulators and Bet Builder picks, as well as the best daily offers and enhanced odds from the bookmaker partners. Video tipping content is also available for every match, as is a scouting report for every team and every fixture, highlighting the most popular players for Bet Builder selections.

Lee Phelps, William Hill Spokesperson said: “The Euros is one of the biggest tournaments around for bettors, and having Spotlight Sports Groups content hubs, means we can provide a real experience for our customers throughout the tournament with editorial, bet prompts and data”.

Mark Hartley, Head of Sports Product at Betfred, was similarly pleased with the deal: We’re delighted to partner with SSG ahead of Euro 2024. We’re excited by the opportunities it brings to us ahead of one of our busiest periods of the year as a bookmaker.”

Sam Houlding, Spotlight Sports Group’s Managing Director of B2B, has shared his excitement at partnering with two of the UK’s leading bookmakers: “It’s great to have two of our key partners taking our content hubs for the biggest tournament of the year. Our content has a proven record of driving revenue, and as it is available in any language globally it appeals to customers all around the world”.

Spotlight Sports Group’s Content Hubs are proven to drive revenues with a rich content experience for betting audiences.

 

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