Online gambling complaints up 5000% in 5 years in the UK.
Have you ever issued an official complaint against an online
gambling operation? I don’t mean sending an online casino an email
because your deposit was rejected, or your withdrawal didn’t hit the
bank as quickly as you’d hoped. I’m talking about filing a formal
complaint with the regulatory authority that licenses the iGaming
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I hope your answer is no – not because you’re the submissive
type to accept injustices, but because you’ve never had a problem
worthy of submitting such a complaint. However, base don recent
evidence, there’s a good chance you’re among the rising masses of
online gamblers who are making their perturbed voices heard.
Online Gambling Complaints up 5000%
According to years’ worth of statistics gathered by the BBC Panorama program, complaints against iGaming operators are up a staggering 5,000% in the last 5 years. The report showed that in the UK alone, just 169 formal complaints were filed in 2013, increasing to a fiendishly high 8,266 across the full 12 months of 2018.
What does this say about online gamblers and the iGaming industry
in general? Several things – and surprisingly enough, they’re all
positive. First of all, it shows that the regulation of internet
gaming has produced an optimistic viewpoint from British players.
They trust that their regulators will help when a problem is
reported. It also shows that operators are being held responsible for
their actions, and that players aren’t acquiesce to sit back and let
them get away with the rogue operating habits of decades past.
Top Reasons for iGaming Complaints
The data shows that the two most common reasons for issuing a
complaint were relating to:
failure to honor winning bets / withdrawal requests.
operating in a socially irresponsible manner.
Refusing to pay out deserved winnings is the sort of behavior we
expect to see from online casinos that aren’t licensed in a reputable
jurisdiction. Social irresponsibility is a whole different monster,
and is something that the UK has been cracking down extremely hard on
in the last year.
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission,
believes the rapid expansion of the iGaming industry is a positive
overall, but that their licensees must adhere to strict guidelines to
maintain a safe gaming environment for all involved.
“We are pushing the industry to know its customers,” said
McArthur, adding that the report’s findings suggest “consumers are
demanding more of the gambling operators, and I would encourage them
to continue to do that.”
UK & Players Hold Operators Accountable
The rise in complaints equates to a jurisdiction and mass of
players who are demanding accountability from operators, especially
in the worst case scenarios. For example, one player by the name of
Amanda filed a complaint after losing everything she’d ever worked
for to an iGaming website that failed to take appropriate action,
despite her showing very clear signs of exorbitantly compulsive
Amanda’s addiction was so strong that when she gambled away all of
her liquid assets, she sold her house to keep going. Over a period of
several years, she lost a staggering total of £633,000. The operator
that accepted her wagers, Jackpotjoy, showed gross negligence by
failing to uphold the UK’s social responsibility, anti-money
laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) policies.
In its defense, Jackpotjoy said notices were sent to Amanda
regarding her behavior, suggesting she utilize “deposit limits,
cooling-off periods and alternative withdrawal methods; tools which
Amanda was aware of and used during the time she played with us.”
The UKGC was not satisfied with the operator’s minimal
intervention, arguing that such devastating outcomes should never
occur, and that Amanda should have been cut off from placing real
money online casino wagers. The operator’s parent company, Gamesys,
has paid well over £1 million in fines due to such accusations of
The hopeful theory is that the reported vast increase in online
gambling complaints – as well as the UKGC’s steep financial
penalties – will drive operators to be far more responsible in the
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