The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is making good on its promise to crack down on what it calls, “misleading” bonus offers by gambling operators under its jurisdiction. Earlier this week, the commission hit GVC Holdings with a £350,000 ($491,000 USD) fine for a series of bonus offers that ran during the summer and fall of 2016.

According the original complaint to the Commission, a player felt mislead because a £17 pound bonus offered by GVC subsidiary ElectraWorks via required £102 pounds worth of play. The details of the offer were buried in a jumble of legalese in the terms and conditions and that’s exactly the kind of thing the UKGC has been cracking down on hard in recent months.

While the original complaint resulted in a mere scolding, the company went on to offer a series of similar offers in subsequent months and that’s what prompted the fine.

In a statement posted on the UKGC site, Richard Watson, Commission Programme Director clearly stated that the fine levied against GVC was merely a shot over the bow of the entire UK gambling industry:

This fine should serve a warning to all gambling businesses that we will not hesitate to take action against those who mislead consumers with bonus offers or fail to ensure they are correctly licensed.

The UKGC has made no bones about its efforts to clean up what it sees as a gaming industry that’s played fast and loose with rules and regulations for years. In recent years the Commission has handed out scoldings and token fines to repeat offenders but it’s clear that they’re getting ready to dole out more serious penalties to future violators.

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