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UK Watchdog Reminds Licensees Leaving the Market of Important Expectations

- October 9, 2019 By Oliver Young -

The UK Gambling Commission continues with its reminders. This time, it has dedicated a full article to those licensees that opt to leave the UK gambling market for whatever reason.

The watchdog explained to those who leave the market that there were some expectations they need to meet. And it made sure that these expectations were loud and clear.

The UK Gambling Commission reminded licensees of what was expected from them on an ongoing basis and in case a business needed to close.

The UK Gambling Commission Expects Businesses to Act Responsibly

While the regulator took its time to remind active license holders to maintain adequate financial resources and conduct their operations with integrity, treating their customers fairly, it also gave its advice to those who were leaving the market, for personal reasons or insolvency. Even though the watchdog was aware that those leaving were doing their best in dealing with the players in those situations, still, it needed to remind them of its expectations.

First, the regulator explained what would happen in case they didn’t meet the expectations, probably to get their attention to the seriousness of the matter. The Commission said that the advice applied both to land-based and online licensed gambling businesses and those with personal management licenses. It advised these licensees that in the event where a business became insolvent, the UKGC still had the right to act against a licensee if there have been failings. Furthermore, in any future license applications they might make, the regulator would consider their conduct. If the Commission considered that there has been wrongdoing, such as illegal trading or any kind of fraud, it would refer the case to the relevant enforcement agency.

If, for whatever reason, a gambling business needed to close, it is expected from it to have plans in place and take the necessary steps to ensure that customers were not unnecessarily disadvantaged. If, for instance, a business was insolvent, it should plan ahead that it cannot carry on trading, being aware that it cannot pay its debts. Therefore, if a business needed to close, the UKGC expected it to provide a concise explanation to players and show them it was still in control of the situation. Keeping them updated of potential routes for redress, communicating via all available contact mediums, and giving information to players was essential.

On an ongoing basis, the regulator expected businesses to be aware of their liabilities and warn customers placing long-term bets of the consequences in case of insolvency, and give them the proper information about the funds protection they used. The Commission reminded licensees that that was a requirement of its license conditions.

The Regulator Also Advises Customers

Even though reminding operators to respect and treat customers fairly was important, it was also essential that the players made sure they were familiar with the key terms and conditions of the gambling business, the Commission advised.

The regulator reminded players that they should first read the T&C before they registered with an online casino or gambled in it. The players were also advised to check the level of protection for their funds that the casino had in place. Since the UK Gambling Commission cannot prevent businesses from closing if they decide to do so, they would not be arbitrating on disputes that might arise between the customer and the operator. This is where ADR providers might help, though. In its updated Alternative Dispute Resolution guidelines, the UKGC explained this in detail. As explained in the guidelines, customers have all the rights to pursue civil legal action through courts, if they were not happy with the action taken by the casino, as advised by the ADR providers.

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