Online gambling companies “may be breaking the law”
If you’ve ever been tricked by a dud off from a gambling site, now may be your chance to get your own back. The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching an investigation into whether gambling sites are breaking the law by making it very difficult to collect their winnings.
Online gambling has been a huge growth area for internet companies, with more than 5.5 million UK adults using betting sites regularly. Yet, according to the CMA, many people are finding it hard to actually ever win anything.
Nisha Arora, the CMA’s senior director of consumer enforcement, told the BBC that “gambling inevitably involves taking a risk, but it shouldn’t be a con. We’ve heard worrying complaints suggesting people may be lured into signing up for promotions with little chance of winning because of unfair and complex conditions.”
Brian Chappell, who set up the campaign group Justice4Punters, told The Guardian that bookmakers were regularly changing the odds after a bet had been won, claiming the customer had breached their conditions.
Sarah Harrison, chief executive of the Gambling Commission (the regulatory body for most types of gambling), said: “gambling, by its very nature, is always going to involve risk, but customers must have faith that if they win they will not end up feeling that the deck is stacked against them because of an obscure condition that they did not properly understand.”
Image by Gchampeau, used under Creative Commons licence