Affiliates and operators may have to reconsider the ways in which commercial law and compliance are prioritised, after a recent letter published by the The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has pointed out that more focus must be placed on maintaining consumer trust.

The letter follows the conclusion of a ‘joint programme’ between the UKGC and CMA, which investigated suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the remote gambling sector. In its mandate, the programme addresses a number of changes implemented by six gambling operators following previous advice from the CMA.  

Ladbrokes, William Hill, PT Entertainment, BGO, Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play have all committed “not to continue or repeat certain practices which the CMA considered were unfair. But the impact of this work has been felt across the entire sector.”

The letter detailed: “Our joint work provided a sharp focus on aspects of online gambling and exposed significant shortcomings within the sector that had undermined consumer trust and confidence.

“However, for you to comply fully with your consumer law and licensing responsibilities, you must go further than simply complying with the published undertakings.

“You need to audit all your terms and conditions, examine your business systems and practices, embed compliance and, importantly, continually review these to ensure that you maintain high standards of consumer protection in the future.

“We have seen indications of the wider sector working to make changes to the way in which promotions are constructed and promoted to consumers.”

The CMA and UKGC have stressed that despite significant progress in the realm of compliance, there is still a lot that must be done to ensure that consumer trust is maintained.

“Making changes to promotions and withdrawal practices is an important start, but it is only one aspect of achieving compliance. More needs to be done by the sector to win back consumer trust. The best operators going forward will be those who lead by example, build on the work undertaken by the CMA and treat their customers fairly and responsibly.”