The following text file is the transcript from the presentation given by Brian Chappell our Founder on July 10th 2018 at the House of Commons. The seminar was attended by invited MPs, Lords, media and representatives of the gambling industry.
If you prefer to listen rather than read the following is an audio file recorded the day after Brian’s presentation: Just press play.
There is no recording of the rest of the seminar. Other speakers allocated 10 minutes to present were Clive Hawkswood, CEO, the Remote Gambling Association and Brad Enright from the UK Gambling Commission.
Brian said that he thought he might have been entering the ‘lions den’. After all the audience were specifically invited individuals from the gambling industry and some Lords/MPs who are keen on a vibrant gambling industry. This could not have been further from the truth. It soon became clear that members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Betting and Gaming were very concerned with how online gambling companies are trading in connection with delaying and refusing customer withdrawals. This also extends to the industry practice of not allowing anyone to win unless it’s a ‘fluke’, e.g. a multi-event accumulator.
Of course, not everyone who spoke or asked a question was in agreement with everything Brian said, but there was certainly a huge majority view that not paying out promptly and not having a minimum bet law for sports betting is unfair to customers and bad for the perception of the gambling industry. It was also clear that the excuses being used by gambling companies for not paying out promptly or at all were perceived as erroneous.
It’s only fair to say that there was no agreement on the title on the seminar ‘Should bookmakers have mandatory time limits for paying out winnings?’
Both the Remote Gambling Association and the UK Gambling Commission prefer an informal arrangement where companies are given a chance to improve their practices, whereas J4P wishes to see a more robust approach.
As so many people seemed to find the bookmaker practices being discussed as unfair, at J4P we do hope that those with power and influence will enforce change over the coming months. As J4P keeps saying; it’s time for change. It will be better for all concerned in the long term.
J4P hopes that the legal system will not be needed. It could be used by those with ‘money’ to obtain fairness for the customer utilising varied legal arguments, but it’s far better to achieve the changes by clearer and more robust regulation if the gambling companies don’t do the decent thing, which would be the ideal.