Justice for Punters (J4P) was officially launched on March 1st 2016, however some of its volunteers had corresponded with the Gambling Commission (GC) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) before this, primarily providing evidence of the use of unfair terms and conditions by UK licensed gambling companies. This observation was confirmed by the CMA, but only partially acted upon.
Since launch J4P has also met with the GC, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), major and independent licensed gambling operators, various gambling industry bodies and gambling charities.
J4P has provided a free advisory service for consumers in dispute with a gambling company. J4P has helped consumers obtain well over £2 million in refunds from UK licensed gambling operators in relation to; wrongly paid winning bets, illegal retention of consumer account balances, partial refunds of losses following exploitation of vulnerable people, etc (circa £2.6 million to be more precise).
J4P has also been heavily involved in issues relating to EU/UK privacy law and how the UK licensed gambling industry breaches these laws daily.
J4P has submitted 50 pages of evidence to the Gambling Act (2005) review, plus five associated files. Ninety-five percent of this evidence has already been discussed with regulators and government over the last few years. The same applies to a number of gambling companies. There’s been slow progress, but little agreement on how to achieve the main objectives of the Gambling Act (2005), e.g. fair and open, safe and free from crime.
Yes, well over £2 million has been returned to customers with J4P’s help (average 400K per annum), but it’s time for a rethink. This labour intensive process and many other matters have made J4P decide to review what it does. Despite everything, vulnerable people are still being exploited and the GC still seems to provide licences, however suspicious the gambling product and business plan.
J4P’s work should not be the role of volunteers, when there is so much money around and the government/regulators know what is required. Put simply J4P is doing work that others who are paid, some handsomely, should be doing. Does J4P keep filling this gap or does it spend more time doing other things that will hopefully bring about significant change?
J4P’s decision for the foreseeable future is that no further cases will be taken after March 7th 2022. To help with our decision, we’ve produced two very detailed self-help guides for customers who have a dispute. Hopefully, these self-help guides will help customers progress their dispute in an informed way. Please click on the link below that is most relevant for you.