This is something we are going to provide an insight into from October 2017 onwards as we know people find it interesting. However, it must be noted that it’s often quite difficult to provide the fine detail readers would like. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Some people do not want to share their experiences (fair enough)
- Some people only want to share a limited amount of information (fair enough)
- Company lawyers make people sign non-disclosure agreements before any sort of payment is made to the person despite the company admitting they are at fault (no comment)
Whilst we will try and share as much information as we can, we will always respect the wishes of individuals who have contacted us and been helped. We also do not wish to give gambling companies the chance to take back money they have paid to the people they’ve treated badly.
We launched on March 1st 2016 and by October 26th 2017 we have helped recover £470,000 that was being withheld from customers of gambling companies unfairly. This is an average of £23,500 per month. We have not charged 1p for our help and don’t intend to.
This support work has taken many, many hours and provided an insight into the modern gambling industry and how it functions. Except for a few limited examples, e.g. on-course at horse and dog racing some aspects of the gambling industry is ‘rotten to the core’ and until recently this disgusting situation has been allowed through laissez-faire UK regulation since the Gambling Act (2005). In our experience the worst offenders are companies that trade online, especially if they only provide casino services and nothing else.
There seems to be some industry wide atttitudes that become a part of nearly every customer dispute we have dealt with:
- The customer is always wrong
- Customer service is only there to facilitate more chances for customers to lose
- Company terms and conditions are there to ensure profit, not any form of fair trading
- If somebody is losing significant amounts of money, they are a good customer and could become a VIP customer by losing more, so encourage this
- Using as many legal methods as possible, nobody must be allowed to win
Despite the hours involved it’s not been difficult to take nearly half of one million pounds off the gambling industry in 20 months and return it to the rightful owners. A big help has been that the UK does have comprehensive laws that cover both consuming and gambling. Based on our experience, in countries where these laws don’t exist it’s difficult to imagine why anybody would have a bet on anything.
As part of our case work we have provided extensive anonymous evidence to the UK’s ‘Gambling Commission’ who seem to have woken up to the fact that the industry they regulate is not all ‘sweetness and light’, the UK’s ‘Competition and Marketing Authority’ and the ‘Information Commissioner’s Office’. The latter probably need to have a close look at their practices, because we believe, through experience, that they are not keen to explore gambling industry data protection practices, primarily online.
‘Justice for Punters’ does hope you find some of what follows of interest? We are starting with a couple of our recent more simple cases and will expand on this over time. Many cases do not get solved in days or weeks, they often take months and some take over one year.
Simply click on the case hyperlinks:
We take bets on lotteries, but don’t like paying out
Why should we honour a bet, our Grandad did that
When a bet has won, but let’s not bother paying the customer