Betting Firm Complaints Up Almost 5,000% In Last Five Years
Complaints against betting and gambling firms have risen almost 5,000% in the last five years, the BBC has revealed.
According to BBC Panorama, the UK Gambling Commission recorded an all-time high of 8,266 complaints in 2018, compared to 169 complaints in 2013. Most of the complaints involved said firms failing to pay out winnings or failing to operate in a socially responsible way, the BBC reports.
In a statement, Neil McArthur, the Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, said: “We are pushing the industry to know its customers, and part of this is actually, possibly, a good sign because it’s suggesting that consumers are demanding more of the gambling operators. And I would encourage them to continue to do that.”
The news comes after the UK Gambling Commission announced it was going to review seven bookmakers’ gambling license after they allowed a minor to wager £5 on the Royal Ascot. While the firms haven’t been revealed, the organisation has said the firms will face regulatory action.
The Commission also fined Ladbrokes Coral £5.9 million after the firm failed to protect problem gamblers. According to reports, the firm failed to ask a customer about their source of funds for three years and allowed another customer to lose over £90,000 over three years despite the customer having asked the firm to stop sending promotions.
To combat the complaints, the UK Gambling Commission has been tightening its regulation within the United Kingdom. This month, the organisation announced new rule changes to better protect customers, including changing how operators interact with users who may be at risk of gambling addiction.
The Commission also reportedly made rules changes which require operators to regulate player spending and establish just how much players can gamble. Operators will need to impose spending limits until affordability checks have been conducted and firms that fail to do so will be hit with fines.
A consultation on credit card usage with online casinos was also announced, with the Commission and UK Government considering banning gamblers from using credit cards at online casinos. The 12-week consultation is expected to take place later this month.
Meanwhile, the UK government is looking towards raising the age limit for the national lottery from 16 to 18, preventing any minors from accessing the games. The consultation for this will run through to October this year.