The Gambling Commission has launched an investigation into online casino company 888’s subsidiary to evaluate whether it is providing enough protection to its customers.
The industry watchdog is assessing if the 888-owned business is fulfilling its requirements for social responsibility by ensuring that effective procedures are provided so that punters are better able to manage their gambling.
One of these tools is the customers’ ability to ‘self-exclude’, which helps in keeping them from gambling for a defined amount of time – in most cases, a minimum of 6 months. In the past year, self exclusions have been given an even more prominent role after bookmaker William Hill pointed to them as a drag on its profits.
A time-out feature is another tool – online gambling users can use this feature to prevent themselves from gambling for a set amount of time. Online gambling companies must offer their customers the ability to time-out for 1 day (24 hours), 1 week, 1 month or up to 6 weeks.
Since the announcement, 7pc has been wiped off the shares, taking them to 278p.
The watchdog has increased its focus on responsible gambling and is increasingly ensuring that businesses know what actions they must take in order to make sure that they offer their services in the most responsible way possible. Its first financial penalty was levied this month for advertising failings when it slapped a £300,000 fine on Guernsey-based company, BGO Entertainment.
The commission said that the fine was issued for 9 misleading BGO advertisements which were shown on its own website between July 2015 and July 2016, as well as 14 on the websites of affiliate companies between February and October of 2016.
Since May 2015, the License Conditions and Codes of Practice of the Gambling Commission have made it necessary for all licensed gambling operators to make sure that consumers are not misled about promotions. This means that companies need to clearly state what offers like a ‘bonus’ or ‘free bet’ actually mean and what customers must do to qualify for such offers.
888 said that a further announcement will be made when an update is possible.
The Gambling Commission said that it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.