Sunday December 4,2011 : New addition to FAQ says caveat emptor
In the wake of the Full Tilt Poker debacle, players have been showing more concern about the safety of their deposits and winnings on internet gambling sites, asking what the role of regulators is in such circumstances.
Thus far, the Isle of Man jurisdiction is one of the few to come out with a clear answer, noting that it insists on the segregation of player accounts by its licensees.
The publicity surrounding the demise of Full Tilt and Absolute Poker, leaving players unpaid in contrast to Pokerstars, which met its obligations, has perhaps caught the attention of the UK Gambling Commission, which this week added an information note on the subject to its FAQs.
Under the heading "Does the Gambling Commission guarantee my gambling winnings?" the Commission advises:
"The Gambling Commission does not in any way guarantee funds deposited by consumers or prizes due. Our licensing process tests the general suitability of an operator to run a gambling business, but it does not provide a guarantee of future financial circumstances.
"Licence holders have legal obligations to their customers, and gambling debts became legally enforceable under the Gambling Act 2005. There is also a requirement on each operator’s licence to explain to customers whether, and if so how, they protect customers’ funds in the event of insolvency.
"As with other commercial transactions such as buying consumer goods or entertainment, it is for consumers to assure themselves of the security of prizes offered or of funds deposited."