Justice for Punter’s – Top 10 highlights of 2017
- Passing the 500K mark for money returned to customers that was being withheld unfairly by gambling companies (for no good reason – think carefully about that).
- Helping a customer secure the return of his significant losses and begin to get ‘back on his feet’ financially (previously he had been continually pestered by a gambling company despite a letter from his consultant psychiatrist being sent to them saying he was vulnerable. This followed residential psychiatric care caused by the multiple stressors of gambling addiction).
- The 21st of November, when the Gambling Commission and the Competition and Market’s Authority both provided major speeches, at the same conference, about how the gambling industry had to change or prepare for the worst, because it doesn’t operate fairly.
- After many months of flat refusals by a gambling company, helping a customer receive over 100K on a disputed payout.
- Being invited by the UK Gambling Commission to supply three people as part of a working group that will recommend a structure for a new customer gambling dispute system.
- Having our first meeting with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to discuss changing the UK’s ‘right to bet’ legislation.
- Our continued support from major media outlets, including the BBC, Guardian & Times, plus more recently Channel 4.
- The amount of case evidence we could provide to the Competition and Market’s Authority investigation into the online gambling industry and the unfair terms and conditions they use, due to ‘registered friends’ and others who passed the evidence on.
- Final proof that the Gambling Commission are getting serious about the ineffective processes used to help people with gambling problems when they fined 888.com £7.8 million.
- Recognising the power of a subject access request: Gambling companies don’t like fulfilling them; good enough proof for us of that power (and sometimes they lie when completing them; even better proof).
The most ridiculous
- The most amusing and ridiculous highlight has to be a County Court Judgment (CCJ) served on a gambling company, because they are refusing to pay 90p of a larger withdrawal, as their systems only cater for withdrawals in full pounds (makes me smile every time). Looks like there’s even going to be a court judgement on it (don’t be stupid; oh they’re daft enough).
And some ‘lowlights’
- The inept data protection work by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office when provided with concrete evidence that many gambling companies are infringing the Data Protection Act (1998) every hour of every day.
- BBC radio 5 live in September when a Head of PR at a major online gambling operator said, without appropriate questioning, “That there were no ‘skeletons left in the cupboard’ concerning the UK gambling industry due to ‘heavy regulation’.” Think about the last 3-months, the cupboards are full of skeletons, so this statement is some of the most far-fetched PR of 2017: Now that’s an achievement.
- Despite the recognition of our voluntary work by the gambling regulator and government the continued refusal of every major specialist horse racing media outlet to have any contact with us. Financial #conflictsofinterest v #ethics – money nearly always wins.
- And, no joke, depressingly hundreds more ‘lowlights’.