The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is cautioning UK-facing to be very judicious in their use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) when settling customer complaints. They’re especially keen on keeping operators from using NDAs as a means of discretely refunding stolen cash to its rightful owners.

At the heart of the UKGC’s unusual warning is the uncomfortable fact that problem gamblers frequently use stolen or embezzled funds as a means of financing their gambling habits. While most operators strive to return pilfered deposits whenever possible, many of those same operators are keen to cover the whole ugly business up with a cloak of secrecy monogrammed with the initials N-D-A.

While the UKGC acknowledged that there is a time and a place for NDAs, the Commission expressed concern that ongoing use of NDAs in these situations could be used to encourage aggrieved parties from furthering their complaints. In layman’s terms, they’re worried that operators will use the promise of a refund of stolen cash as a means of keeping complainants from reporting their problems to the proper authorities. That could result in a landslide of unreported infractions that would seriously undermine the UKGC’s ability to oversee a fair, consumer-friendly gambling market.

Commissioners are also worried that issued that get swept into the dark with an NDA could have the effect of keeping problem gamblers from getting the help they so desperately need. (Many problem gamblers fund their habits with pilfered cash while unknowing operators elevate them to VIP status.)

This week’s warning is yet another sign of increased demands for strict regulatory compliance from the UK’s most powerful gambling regulators.

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