Gaming regulators in the UK have a message for the online gambling industry and it’s not one that most operators are going to want to hear. In two separate instances over the past week, regulators have made it clear that a new wave of regulation is coming and that common industry practices like deposit bonuses will be facing increased scrutiny.

At a conference in Birmingham earlier this week, UK Gambling Commission chief Bill Moyes gave the gathered representatives of the online gambling industry a clear warning about their future. He said, in no uncertain terms, that their free ride was over and that, “…public support for gambling is beginning to decline,” according to a report on CalvinAyre.com.

Moyes went on to warn the gathered mass that the industry has a choice to make, they can either shape up and make compliance a bigger part of their business, or face increased scrutiny from regulators. No one operator was singled out in Moyes’ remarks, but he made it clear that the £10 million in fines the agency doled out last year could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Other officials from the UKGC echoed Moyes’ words and made it very clear that they’re expecting online gambling operators to tighten up their regulatory game or get hit with an iron fist of regulatory action.

Also speaking at the event was George Lusty, project director at the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In his address, Lusty made it very clear that his agency will continue taking a very hard look at how online gambling operators treat their customers. In particular, the CMA is looking at deposit bonuses that can’t be earned without large amounts of play; standard practices involving withdrawals; and the details buried in operators’ terms and conditions.

What Moyes and Lusty’s inquiries will yield is anyone’s guess but this much is clear, UK-facing online gambling operators can expect increased scrutiny from regulatory agencies in the months ahead.


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