Consumer protection is on the mind of the Gambling Commission, a group that is currently placing their focus on online gaming operator 888 Holdings. It was announced yesterday that a subsidiary of 888 Holdings Plc is under investigation in regard to consumer protections and if the licensee is doing their part, staying in line with UK regulations.
The Gambling Commission will use the review to determine if the 888 run business is following the social responsibility requirements by having the proper procedures in place to help bettors manage their gambling activities. One tool that should be included is a self-exclusion option where players have the ability to prevent themselves from gambling for a specific amount of time. This time frame is usually set for around six months.
The time-out feature is another tool that should be implemented, which provides gamblers with the option to take a time-out and not be able to gamble for a set period of time, like 24 hours, one week, one month or as long as six weeks.
The announcement that 888’s subsidiary is under investigation has taken a toll on shares within the company. 7% was wiped away from shares taking the company down to 278p once the investigation was revealed. In regards to the review by the UKGC, 888 stated that they are dedicated to providing players with a responsible and enjoyable gaming experience and the subsidiary will be ‘proactively engaged’ in the process.
Brokerage firm Peel Hunt commented on the review stating that they believe 888 to be a responsible operator but still expect the company to face a fine and changes to be made to the business in question due to the review. According to the brokerage, it seems the public process is the way the Commission prefers to regulate the gambling industry as of late. The firm feels that ‘fines and bad publicity are part of the cost of doing business’.
The Gambling Commission has been quite busy as of late revving up their focus on responsible gaming and has started to review operators and even affiliates in regard to whether such regulations are being followed. Earlier this month, BGO Entertainment was given a £300,000 fine due to a review by the Commission which found nine misleading advertisements used by BGO within their website as well as on affiliate websites.
The Commission ruled that the advertisements were run from July 2015 until the same month in 2016 on their site as well as 14 affiliates’ sites from February 2016 until October 2016.
The License Conditions and Codes of Practice within the Commission have required that all licensed gambling operators avoid misleading customers about promotions since May of 2015 and it seems the Commission is now focusing efforts on individual companies to see if they are holding true to these requirements.
As far as the 888 investigation is concerned, the company plans on making further announcements on the matter as soon as information is made available.