A BBC report confirms a skyrocketed rate of operator complaints from consumers over the last 5 years in iGaming's largest jurisdiction to 5,000%.
The BBC Panorama programme's Commission report further reveals a total of 8,266 people registered a complaint over the last full calendar year of 2018, up from a mere 169 in 2013.
The two top sources of dissatisfaction are reported as not paying out on winning bets or not operating in a socially responsible manner.
Positive Change Sought
The rise in a rapidly expanding market is seen by research Commission executive director Neil McArthur as a positive for the UK gambling industry:
“We are pushing the industry to know its customers...(the complaint findings) suggesting that consumers are demanding more of the gambling operators, and I would encourage them to continue to do that.”
Market activity in the UK increased to a consumer spend of £14.5bn (€15.7bn/$17.5bn) on gambling in the 12 months to September 2018. While the figure reflected a slight 0.4% drop on the 12 months to March 2018, overall online gambling spending rose to £5.6bn and will continue to do so.
The BBC Panorama report is set to release further findings on cases where consumers lost large sums of money gambling online, such as Amanda who sold her house to keep playing and lost £633,000 over several years.
The operator in the case Jackpotjoy insisted they acted in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements and encouraged the player to use the website's responsible gaming tools:
“This included the use of deposit limits, cooling-off periods and alternative withdrawal methods; tools which Amanda was aware of and used during the time she played with us.”
These types of ugly outcomes should never happen: in Amanda's case it would have been appropriate to cut her from further play as her losses mounted, so let's hope the ballooning complaints in the UK market will serve to eliminate such worse case scenarios completely.