Record complaints against gambling companies

maxd

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FWIW my observation is that today vs 5 years ago there is MUCH greater awareness among players, especially casual players, that there are opportunities to file a complaint. 5 years ago only a small percentage of players even knew you could complain never mind finding their way to a place to do it.

Now there is greater awareness and greater opportunity -- many times more complaints services and options -- so I believe it would be a mistake to interpret the "5000%" figure to mean a massive increase in the causes of complaint.

IMO the real story could be summed up this way:
more players + much greater awareness + many more complaints services = 5000% (?!?) more complaints.

In other words it's more likely a measure of how the industry has changed rather than the industry having gotten so much worse as I believe was implied in that article.

Also, their figures are pretty suspect. From that article:
There were a record 8,266 complaints last year, Gambling Commission figures obtained by BBC Panorama show. That compares to just 169 in 2013.

Casinomeister alone handled well more than 169 complaints in 2013 so that number is a very poor indication of how many complaints there actually were out there at the time. If pressed I'd guesstimate the numbers more like this: 12-15000 complaints in 2018 vs 2500-ish in 2013. That's roughly 1/10th the increase estimated in the article.
 
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Casinomeister

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Wow - now the BBC is in lock step with the Guardian. :rolleyes:

That's probably the worst piece of journalism I've read this week - yeah I know it's Monday, but it's the worst.

It addressed nothing at all about these complaints. The CEO of the UKGC mentioned they were complicated, but that was it.

"Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said there were complex reasons for the rise in complaints. "

But that was it. The article did not indulge us with the reasons - what are the complaints? Why are they rising? What is the complexity?

The UKGC doesn't handle complaints but tracks them through their ADRs. Last October they required their approved ADRs to report their cases so before then, they had no real data because THE UKGC DOES NOT HANDLE COMPLAINTS. But this article doesn't mention this at all.

Most of these complaints I would guess are from the betting shops - not online as this article leads you to believe. The BBC should have spoken with IBAS about that one. But they didn't.

Which makes you wonder - why don't these journalists approach the real entities that handle online casino player complaints - Casinomeister, thePogg, etc.

And yeah, I feel sorry for those folks you can't control themselves and lose the house, but they could have done this at any of the land based casinos in the UK as well. And the land based casinos are not controlled or held under the same scrutiny as the online entities are.

Another fluff piece filler from the BBC. I would have expected more.
 

News Hound

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What would be good, is if the main stream media in the UK focused on those unlicensed operators who accept UK players, rather than the licensed ones who are being hit with penalty packages by the regulator, who are striving to get their collective houses in order.

The UKGC could also assist in this regard and go after those unlicensed operators such as what the KSA are doing in Holland. But I guess that doesn't generate the type of publicity they want......
 

steveh35

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Wow - now the BBC is in lock step with the Guardian. :rolleyes:

That's probably the worst piece of journalism I've read this week - yeah I know it's Monday, but it's the worst.

It addressed nothing at all about these complaints. The CEO of the UKGC mentioned they were complicated, but that was it.

"Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said there were complex reasons for the rise in complaints. "

But that was it. The article did not indulge us with the reasons - what are the complaints? Why are they rising? What is the complexity?

The UKGC doesn't handle complaints but tracks them through their ADRs. Last October they required their approved ADRs to report their cases so before then, they had no real data because THE UKGC DOES NOT HANDLE COMPLAINTS. But this article doesn't mention this at all.

Most of these complaints I would guess are from the betting shops - not online as this article leads you to believe. The BBC should have spoken with IBAS about that one. But they didn't.

Which makes you wonder - why don't these journalists approach the real entities that handle online casino player complaints - Casinomeister, thePogg, etc.

And yeah, I feel sorry for those folks you can't control themselves and lose the house, but they could have done this at any of the land based casinos in the UK as well. And the land based casinos are not controlled or held under the same scrutiny as the online entities are.

Another fluff piece filler from the BBC. I would have expected more.
The BBC have always been hypocrites, they encouraged everyone to gamble on the national lottery for 20 years every Saturday night, they are perfectly happy to name a gamblng sponsor on any football or sports coverage they show and no doubt if I put Look North on at 6.30 tonight they will have that Yorkshire gambling bloke on again and his family who likes to yawnfully tell us about his problems again.
 

colinsunderland

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Most of these complaints I would guess are from the betting shops - not online as this article leads you to believe. The BBC should have spoken with IBAS about that one. But they didn't.

Considering the complaints you see on review sites like trustpilot, I imagine most complaints are people not understanding what they are doing, ie not following bonus rules, wrong staking of bets, that type of thing, and KYC related complaints. Trustpilot is full of 1 star reviews of people fuming because they were asked to send a driving license in.

Hopefully the program goes into more detail, but doubt it will as the BBC usually have an agenda.

How are your complaints, are you getting more now than you did 5 years ago? Would be interesting to compare :)
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
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How are your complaints, are you getting more now than you did 5 years ago? Would be interesting to compare :)

Definitely yes. Roughly up 50% as compared to 5 years ago, give or take.
One thing to keep in mind is that we are somewhat limited in the volume that we can handle, it's just me and my assistant plus a hand now and then from Bryan. A group like IBAS, for instance, is able to scale up and handle many times the volume we could ever hope to, and they do.
 

ChopleyIOM

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Ahhh the remarkable sight of a new sheriff arriving at a Wild Western town, where scammers and conmen have been abusing the local population for years.

Local population starts shooting at the new sheriff, whilst complaining loudly about the conmen in the next county over.
 

dunover

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Yet another piece of investigative 'journalism' that has been created by someone without any in-depth knowledge of the industry. All forms of gambling outlets seem to be lumped together. Not got much more to add as the above comments say it all.
 

L&L-Jan

Affiliate Manager for Accredited Casinos
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Malta
Quote:
High stakes betting machines have been banned from the High Street, but there are no legal limits for online games. That means customers can lose thousands of pounds in just a few minutes.

Campaigners say that the government needs to do more to protect the most vulnerable gamblers.

End Quote:

This is also not really true as operators have a duty of care and need to apply AML procedures. Therefore the majority of any UK customer will be blocked at a particular threshold. Yes you can lose thousands of Sterling within a few minutes, but a bit above the quote the writer gives the imporession you can lose over 600k. I think that's no longer possibly at any licensed operator.
 

News Hound

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ChopleyIOM

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That's the key term right there, licensed operator. What exactly are the UKGC doing with regards unlicensed operators that readily accept UK players? This is of far more concern.

Why is it of far more concern? Unlicensed operators are by definition unlicensed, ignoring the rules anyway, and sit outside the UKGC's remit.

I'd rather they focus on making sure licensed operators are running their operations in the best way possible, whilst educating people to avoid unlicensed operators at all costs.
 

shadow123

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Terrible , players lose all that money gambling, They dont mention the amount lost on the national lottery,yes it goes on good causes
but a lot of that just pays for things the government should be contributing towards anyway, on top of the treasury get a nice lump
out of it, and dont forget 16 year old are welcome, no chance of them progressing to other forms of gambling
 

ChopleyIOM

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Terrible , players lose all that money gambling, They dont mention the amount lost on the national lottery,yes it goes on good causes
but a lot of that just pays for things the government should be contributing towards anyway, on top of the treasury get a nice lump
out of it, and dont forget 16 year old are welcome, no chance of them progressing to other forms of gambling

The lottery is nothing like other forms of 'immediate' gambling.

You buy a ticket or two, and then wait for the draw, what are you going to do if you don't win, buy a load more tickets in the hope of winning in the next draw in several days time?

Totally different scenario to losing on online slots and then redepositing to chase losses.

The National Lottery scratchcards are shady though, with a risible RTP.
 

shadow123

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Still a tax on the poor, 53% payout and it will never be you,i cant find figures on the total spend but a fair percentage
of the population play,think of all the syndicates that no one dare leave , playing twice a week at £2 a pop.it must mount
up to a massive amount.
 

slotter999

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The lottery is nothing like other forms of 'immediate' gambling.

You buy a ticket or two, and then wait for the draw, what are you going to do if you don't win, buy a load more tickets in the hope of winning in the next draw in several days time?

Totally different scenario to losing on online slots and then redepositing to chase losses.

The National Lottery scratchcards are shady though, with a risible RTP.
For anyone to compare the lottery with slots etc is just the stuff of distraction and makes very little sense.

Here's an expert view on gambling / national lottery:-

≠============

Dr Mark Griffiths, a psychologist and and the Director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University (also the founder of gamcare). Fairly qualified you might say?

His research has led Dr Griffiths to consider the idea that the type of game – whether it’s slots or poker or roulette – does not determine whether an addiction will develop. He believes it is how a game is built and how it rewards players that is more influential. Dr Griffiths uses the example of the national lottery. He says that he has never met or heard of anyone addicted to the national lottery. This is because the reward element of the gamble only takes place twice a week, when the numbers are drawn. That does not provide the gambler with enough positive reward to trigger excessive gambling. Activities like wagering on horse races or slot games – where bets can be made over and over in a short space of time – tend to be more troublesome.
 

ChopleyIOM

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Yeah I don't have a problem with the National Lottery as a form of gambling for the above reasons - (the RTP is laughable and it's arguably a tax on the poor/stupid to get them to pay for things the government should already be paying for, but still) - but the scratchcards are an issue IMO.

I remember when they first came out I was working in a 24 hour garage in Manchester and we had loads of people who'd buy a scratchcard or two, lose, and buy more, lose, get their money back, buy more scratchcards with the money they 'won', and then lose that before leaving.

The pay distribution is shocking too, with a huge amount of the (shit) RTP lumped into prizes of 1-5x stake.

Of course The Lottery gets to hide behind all that 'good causes' horseshit, and is protected by default because it's a government run racket.
 

dunover

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Yeah I don't have a problem with the National Lottery as a form of gambling for the above reasons - (the RTP is laughable and it's arguably a tax on the poor/stupid to get them to pay for things the government should already be paying for, but still) - but the scratchcards are an issue IMO.
I remember when they first came out I was working in a 24 hour garage in Manchester and we had loads of people who'd buy a scratchcard or two, lose, and buy more, lose, get their money back, buy more scratchcards with the money they 'won', and then lose that before leaving.
The pay distribution is shocking too, with a huge amount of the (shit) RTP lumped into prizes of 1-5x stake.
Of course The Lottery gets to hide behind all that 'good causes' horseshit, and is protected by default because it's a government run racket.
So of course, being a responsible outlet, you offered them self-exclusion and/or purchase limits and ran affordability checks?
 

News Hound

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This is the BBC Panorama Twitter Feed. From the programme that is airing tonight. Worth watching. The programme is obviously not going to be showing the entire industry in a good light.

 

ChopleyIOM

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So of course, being a responsible outlet, you offered them self-exclusion and/or purchase limits and ran affordability checks?

Oh yes of course, because twenty year old students working night shifts at 24 hour petrol stations in 1995 were routinely given fantastic training on that sort of thing.

Please tell me you're not even remotely trying to establish any sort of equivalence between that scenario and online casinos in the year 2019.
 

Mr_Slot5

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Trustpilot is full of 1 star reviews of people fuming because they were asked to send a driving license in.

As I've said before, casinos don't help themselves with this one. Easy fix- fully automate the process. So many people will be put off by sending in sensitive ID/documents.
 

Slottery

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As I've said before, casinos don't help themselves with this one. Easy fix- fully automate the process. So many people will be put off by sending in sensitive ID/documents.

As mentioned in article, it start to be demad to Know Your Customer better and better to able decide behalf of players and tell them how much every single persons should play as max. That has (and will be) make casinos to ask more and more documentation about your financial situation and trying to build you profile to make sure as possible that you are not spending too much money.

As we know, it's not enough that you say that you don't have problems and everything is in control, you for example happened to win big somewehere and now have played bit more, you need to proove it.

We can see more and more ongonig requests from your X months bank statements with transactions, payslips and what ever might be able to proof that you have money. Still it's bit worthless as i can send my payslips and bank statements to casino today to show i can affor to spend £500 month to play with you and then it's ok. If you are forced to set your limits to match your income, how difficult it to play another place when you reach your limit in casino X.

What message you can see from UKGC constantly is that casinos should know their players better and better and as spoke here many times already, it start to be very sensitive private information what you are requested to share with casino you play. There are always people with problems who ruin their life with gambling that's for sure, now there is to decide that how much responsibility goes to casinos and how much players themselves which is causing these SOW/SOW requests to be ongoing process since you join casino until the end of your relationship with it.

This cause that most of players (which is huge majority) who can play without getting their life ruined be threaten with same care than addicted people and as long you are not able to proof that you are not problem gambler, you are potential problem gambler and even if you have send your lifestory and show that you don't have huge pile of payday loans taken for gambling etc... you need to be checked again after while to make sure you haven't growth addiction when you play addictive games.

That's would be great answer to have that where that line should be drawn that how much responsibility is on player and how much on casino who provide you chance to play games, at the moment no too great christal bullet been found to solve that question, it never will 100% but some logic with some common sense would be nice for all. We have option that all responsibility to take care of yourself is taken to 3rd party, but how far we want to go in that? Do we want to start carry monthly taken blood tests what you show in your local and all other pubs that your liver and other parts of body are still health and you can be served alcohol (when your word can't be trusted but you have to proof that you are not alcoholic in big danger) and take same approach to everywhere every day life.

There are always addicted and otherwise vulnerable people who are not able to take care of themselves who hopefully get recognized and get all support they need, but if that wanted to be protective as possible, all people have to proof that i don't have problem with this or this particular thing what possibly can cause harm and ruin your life.
 

goatwack

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Ahh Panorama, the hard-hitting, informative and completely non-biased exposé investigative show that tackles the problems of our times in 28 minutes
 
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