On 21 October 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA“) announced that it is launching an inquiry into the practices of online gambling operators. In particular, the CMA will scrutinise the fairness of gambling licensees’ terms and conditions following concerns raised by the Gambling Commission earlier this year.
Such concerns came off the back of several customer complaints relating to potential breaches of consumer law (including misleading promotions and unfair terms). This coincided with a number of rulings of the Advertising Standards Authority which found certain promotional campaigns to have been either misleading and/or to have failed to make clear significant terms of their offers (see our earlier post here).
On the day of its announcement, the CMA exercised its powers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to issue Information Notices to operators. Such notices require licensees to provide evidence of their compliance with consumer law.
Depending on the evidence received, the CMA may then choose to bring enforcement action against one or more gambling operators under the Enterprise Act 2002.
It is expected that the CMA will provide an update on the investigation in early 2017. Further information regarding the investigation can be found on the CMA’s case page (here).