Over the past five-year British betting companies have seen a rise in betting complaints. Over 8266 complaints were recorded by the Gambling commission regulator in 2018. The BBC Panorama obtained the records the issues have spiked by 5000% when compared to the 169 complaints received in 2013. The rise follows the steady increase in gambling in the United Kingdom over the past decade.
Problem gamblers are affirming that even after they have pleaded with bookers to remove them from mailing lists, they are still being enticed to bet. Problem gamblers that have lost hundreds of dollars at internet casinos blame the casinos for such. One bettor claimed that the casino offered her bonuses to continue betting and ignored all signs of her addiction. Chief executive of the gambling commission, Neil McArthur said the reason behind the rise in complaints is complicated. McArthur added that the commission was pushing the gambling industry to know its customers.
What Is the Issue?
Earlier this year, Ladbrokes Coral was fined $7.1 million (£5.9 million) for systemic failing. The gambling commission fined Ladbrokes Coral for failing to protect problem gamblers from gambling harm. The regulator stated that over three years, the operator was unable to meet its obligations and carry out social responsibility interactions. A recent betting complaint saw a gambler loss $118 340 (£98,000) in two years after asking the operator to stop sending promotion and declining deposits. Other issues the regulator spotted was that the operator had reduced its number of ‘high risk’ customers rather than investing in protecting them.
What Is Being Done About Betting Complaints?
The gambling commission has made it clear that it has no ongoing plan to introduce maximum online wagers. The regulator also said that the operators had more than enough information on how to keep players safe. Five UK gambling firms have offered to increase the voluntary levy fund for problem gamblers addiction treatment. The plan was to raise funds sixfold to $72.4 million (£60 million) a year. Critics have labelled the offer as a bride to remove stricter regulations. The firms that have offered to increase the levy from 0.1% to 1% include Sky bet, Paddy Power, Bet365, William Hill and GVC. The agreement is yet to be finalised and will be phased in over five years. Critics are adamant that the funds are nowhere enough to tackle problem gambling efficiently. Politician, campaign groups and charities have been calling for the mandatory tax on the gambling industry to help fund addiction treatment.
The gambling industry in the UK has grown immensely over the last couple of years. This has resulted in an increase in the number of problem gamblers. Gamblers are losing twice as much as they were a decade ago. The rapid growth follows the government decision to relax betting and advertising restrictions in the UK. The first step in protecting gamblers has to come from operators with an increase in improved communication. Operators should look at sending gamblers messages o safer gambling.