News Competition watchdog to investigate online gambling firms for cheating customers

Firms are suspected of offering complex terms and conditions in order to avoid payouts

Online gambling firms who overturn winning bets using loopholes buried in the small print of their websites are to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It follows an initial review carried out by the CMA of complaints by consumers and a number of firms' promotions and terms & condition, along with concerns raised by the Gambling Commission (GC) about breaches of consumer law.

The CMA has contacted a range of gambling operators requiring evidence as an initial step to establishing whether enforcement action is required. It is also asking people who use gambling sites whether they have experienced such issues and to provide evidence.

The investigation is part of a joint programme with the GC to tackle issues around fairness and transparency in the gambling industry.

The CMA has the power to take firms to court for breach of the Enterprise Act, while the GC can revoke betting firms' licence to operate in the UK.

The CMA said the industry is worth £4bn a year; with 5.5m people in the UK regularly use online gambling sites.

The CMA press release can be found here -  www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-launches-investigation-into-online-gambling