Some cashback websites may now come under more legal scrutiny as they have inadvertently dabbled in gambling a little too much, The Daily Mail claims in a recent report. According to the publication, several brands, to name Ohmydosh, Quidco, and Topcashback, have collectively referred to 60 gambling websites, including bingo and sports betting.
All Legal, But Moral Questions Raised
The promotion of such websites is currently legal in the United Kingdom and so is gambling. However, some of the cashback amounts have been substantial. The Daily Mail claims that one consumer got £30,000 ($39,000) back in a single month, pointing to the extensiveness of that person’s gambling habits.
Most of these websites also offer a small incentive in the form of a bonus for simply signing up which may have incentivized many consumers to try in the first place. While all three websites are legitimate and licensed parties, the media argues that they may have leaned on gambling a little too much. The issue with these practices is not that the website lacks licenses or operates in an underhand fashion, per se.
However, The Daily Mail argues that there are some signs that the sites may be facing more legal scrutiny and cashback sites may even become included in the upcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005.
This is the largest overhaul of gambling laws in the United Kingdom, which is set to debate core aspects of the industry, including online betting limits, promotional practices, loot boxes, and now potentially affiliate websites and cashback services.
People in High Places Taking Notice
Alex Davies-Jones, the Shadow Minister for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, is one of the people who have taken notice of cashback sites dabbling in gambling and incentivizing consumers to join through tailored offers. She has acknowledged that this practice may need to be looked at closely in order to avoid consumer harm.
One other person to take an active stance is StepChange’s Sue Anderson. According to her, gambling firms should not target vulnerable gamblers or exploit their vulnerabilities. The idea of bonusing is flawed Anderson argued, and could lead to financial harm and addiction.
Bonuses have been mostly ostracized in Northern European markets, for example, something that may happen in the United Kingdom, and did happen in places like the re-regulated German iGaming market.
According to The Daily Mail, Topcashback acknowledged the report and said that it would seek to revise its offers whereas Quidco argued that it expected consumers to gamble responsibly. Reportedly, Ohmydosh did not offer a comment for the media.