The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching an investigation into the withdrawal practices and policies of a group of unnamed UK gambling operators. Details of the probe are, so far, limited but it’s yet another sign that the UK government is turning up the heat on the local gambling industry.

At issue, according the CMA’s website, are three categories of interest including:

  • Daily, weekly or monthly limits on withdrawing funds that appear unreasonably low
  • Potentially arbitrary short deadlines on the time customers have to verify their identity as a condition of withdrawing funds, sometimes providing for forfeiture of consumer’s funds if missed
  • Dormancy terms that allow firms to confiscate funds or impose apparently excessive charges after a certain period of inactivity.
As of this writing, there’s no word on which operators have been contacted by the CMA. But regardless of whether or not they’re targeted by this particular probe, UK gambling operators must certainly be feeling the heat from a barrage of unwanted attention from their home government, in particular the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). 

The UKGC has been hectoring local operators over a bevvy of issues recently including bonus policies and compliance with anti-money laundering policies. So it’s not surprising that UKGC Programme Director Ian Angus applauded the CMA’s move saying:

We support the CMA’s investigation – gambling firms should not be placing unreasonable restrictions on when and how consumers can withdraw money from their online gambling accounts. While the CMA continues its enquiry, we expect all online operators to look closely at the terms and practices they have in place and consider if they are fair on their customers.

In short, the UK gambling industry is getting a lot of attention from government watchdogs for business practices that haven’t always been the most consumer-friendly.

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