The UK’s Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently banned reverse withdrawals in a move that could have implications for US regulators, specifically in the NJ sports betting market.
The UKGC said earlier this month that all UK online gambling operators must stop offering the function by October 31.
A reverse withdrawal allows players to cancel a withdrawal before it is processed so they can continue to gamble with the funds.
“Evidence shows that reverse withdrawals present a risk to players because of the temptation to continue gambling,” the UKGC said.
The commission said reverse withdrawals were a flag for potential gambling harm. That opinion is supported by “academic research, lived experience and expert advice,” the commission added.
NJ DGE will be watching closely
Of course, the topic is particularly relevant to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
In a recent investigation, the DGE found certain operators had been delaying withdrawals unnecessarily and offering bonuses for reversing them. The NJ sports betting regulator said those practices were unacceptable and operators could face fines, but refuse to name which operators were accused of the practice.
However, it said reverse withdrawals themselves were fine, as long as there was no inducement to do them. Could that stance change now one of the world’s leading gambling regulators has banned them entirely?
Campaigners have suggested a middle ground, like allowing players to block themselves from reverse withdrawals.
UK focus on responsible gambling
In the UK, the new policy is just one of a number of sweeping changes, as regulators aim to make gambling safer. The UKGC has also ordered online slots to be redesigned to be slower and with no autoplay.
Elsewhere the UK Government is considering a blanket ban on sportsbook shirt sponsorships, according to The Times. Senior politicians are reportedly concerned about the prevalence of gambling addiction.
Interestingly, the clampdown comes at a time when betting sponsorships are booming in US sport.
US sportsbooks spent $397 million on marketing deals in the major US sports leagues since PASPA was repealed, according to GlobalData.
If the UK is anything to go by, that kind of advertising blitz might bring a reckoning down the road.