Complaints Against UK Gambling Firms See 5000% Increase
Posted at: 15 August 2019
According to BBC Panorama documentary, aired Monday, August 12, 2019, customers’ complaints against UK gambling operators skyrocketed over the last five years. The investigation reports a 5,000% rise in complaints, most of which related to repeated social responsibility failures and bookmakers refusing to pay out winnings.
Back in 2018, the UK gambling regulator UKGC received 8, 266 complaints – 8097 more than the complaints made in 2013.
The UKGC CEO Neil McArtur attributed the increased number of complaints to “complex reasons”. He explained that there was not a downtrend and the gambling services in the UK are kept to high standards: “We are pushing the industry to know its customers, and part of this [increased number of customers’ complaints ] is actually, possibly, a good sign, because it’s suggesting that consumers are demanding more of the gambling operators,” he said. “And I would encourage them to continue to do that.”
However, the UKGC assumed the role of an online gambling regulator in November 2014. Before that, players used to send their grievances to jurisdictions such as Malta or Gibraltar.
Nevertheless, the UKGC is now in charge of monitoring the online gambling services on the territory of the UK and it took draconian measures against non-compliant operators in an attempt to protect the UK casino players against problem gambling issues.
In May 2019, the UKGC imposed a financial penalty to 4 online casino operators due to anti-money laundering failures. A month later, Unibet was slapped with a solid fine due to the same reason. The most recent penalty for problem gambling shortcomings was levied on Ladbrokes Coral.
As far as the regulatory changes are concerned, age verification has come into effect. Age verification is now required even if a player tries to play a demo version of a game. Operators are now more involved in responsible gambling causes. TV betting ad ban was voluntarily implemented by betting firms. At the time of writing, the UKGC mulls over a ban on credit card casino deposits.