UK licensees warned on non-disclosure agreements

News on 1 Feb 2019

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned licensees on including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in settlement agreements with consumers.

“Some of these agreements may have had the effect of preventing those consumers from reporting regulatory concerns to us, by either excluding disclosure to any third party or, in some cases, explicitly preventing customers from contacting the Gambling Commission.”

The UKGC said the the commonplace use of NDAs in certain commercial contexts can benefit both parties, however, operators must ensure:

That they do not result in consumers feeling they are unable to notify the Commission or other regulators or law enforcement agencies of conduct which might otherwise be reported.

That licensees notify the Commission of offences under the Gambling Act, including breaches of licence conditions or social responsibility codes of practice

That consumers do not refrain from reporting matters to the Commission because they anticipate a settlement which contains a condition that states they will not complain to the Commission

That those suffering gambling-related harm can freely discuss their gambling history with treatment providers.

“This statement provides a reminder of some of the key issues and risks of which licensees should be aware,” the UKGC said.

The complete list of requirements can be accessed here.

The UKGC is currently investigating a case involving Ladbrokes allegedly paying GBP 975 million to the victims of a high roller problem gambler.  The man, who spent up to GBP 60,000 per day, used funds stolen from clients.

The Ladbrokes settlement agreement with the victims reportedly included a clause in which the victims agreed not to report the matter to “any regulator”.

The problem gambler, himself,  reported the matter to the UKGC, saying: “I hope by me reporting this to the Gambling Commission that some of the victims rightfully get their full money back, but also that this shows them that the operator has no respect for their codes of practice.”

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