Based on a recent report by the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), many UK gambling companies are failing to safeguard the interests of their customers. BITís recently launched Gambling Policy & Research Unit (GPRU) carried out detailed audits of the top 10 gambling operators in the countries. The list of companies included Paddy Power, 888, Betfred, Betfair Betway, Ladbrokes, Coral, SkyBet, William Hill/William Hill Vegas and Tombola.
A comprehensive study of these gambling companies revealed many instances in the inherent design and operation of these sites which hint at these firms not only failing at protecting their customerís welfare but also actively exposing them to more risk.†
Moreover, the research has uncovered the alarming fact one of the basic KYC processes such as age verification was lacking. There were inadequate details and transparency when it came to playersí loss of funds. These are rather surprising findings, particularly when considering the fact that itís information gathered from well-known and big brand UK no deposit casinos. So it raises a lot of questions about other, lesser known providers.†††
Areas of Concern
GPRU found many factors incorporated in the day-to-day functioning of these gambling companies that contribute to putting its customersí financial and mental well-being at risk. For instance, the process of opening an account at such sites is much easier than closing one, which makes it harder for players to leave such platforms that are designed to ultimately make them stay.†
These gambling operators also require a minimum account balance before players can make a withdrawal and decide to leave. There is no provision for receiving any transaction receipts to help you keep a record of your financial operations at these platforms. These companies donít even provide summaries of the time and money you spend playing with them.
Apart from all this, GPRUís study also found an absence of age verification procedures that could ideally help verify player accounts and keep track of their losses during gameplay. When gambling platforms do not have mandatory verification frameworks in place, it contributes to rapid gambling since you can register easily within a few seconds without having to undergo any time-consuming procedures.
BIT CEO and GPRU Expertís Shares His Concerns
Disappointed by the current state of irresponsibility displayed by UK gambling sites, BIT CEO and GPRU Steering Group Chair David Halpern was quoted saying that, whether by design or market evolution, gambling companies today evade responsibility by making it easier to sign up and keep betting.†
While signing up is easy, such platforms make it noticeably harder for customers to distance themselves from excessive gambling since there are no regulatory tools. They also find it difficult to make quick withdrawals and close their account for good.
Addressing the lack of any social responsibility displayed by the top-most gambling sites in the UK, Halpern also said that itís not impossible to design gambling platforms that encourage responsible gambling. He acknowledged that many game operators do offer assistance to their users who wish to limit gambling-related harms, at the same time emphasizing how ďin the current landscapeÖthat doesnít seem to be the priority.Ē†
Learn To Protect Yourself At All Times
To not fall into the downward spiral of gambling addiction, customers must:†
- Do the necessary research before even considering a provider.
Check out any available tools offered by the online casino in question prior to sign up.†
- Read through the platformís policies†
- Contact customer support staff if thereís little to no information at your disposal.†
- Look out for a list of effective and easy-to-use regulatory tools (like deposit limits, session limits, cooling-off limit, self-exclusion).†
- Find a cashier section that should display transaction history, and the steps needed to be followed to close your account should it come to that stage.
You can also follow up on the studies and research carried out by the Gambling Policy & Research Unit. BIT launched the GPRU in September 2021. The GPRU consists of experts and dedicated specialists who work together as a team to reduce potential harms caused by gambling. The primary goal for GPRU is to make the UK gambling market safe and protect Brits from easily succumbing to problem gambling.†
- As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
- Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976††
- Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
- Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
- Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
- This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
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