bet365 accused of giving problem gamblers cash to keep them betting
An investigation by the Daily Mail has discovered that bet365 gives players who lose large amounts cash rebates with the aim of keeping them betting – and losing – at the bookie.
The Daily Mail sent an undercover reporter in to work at bet365’s customer service hub in Gibraltar. During his training, the reporter was told that players who rack up big losses are often given 10% of the money back weekly to keep them playing. Other findings included:
- Customers who lose big would often be made VIP customers and given incentives, such as tickets to football matches
- Those customers would be given personal advisors
- Although warnings were issued to those spending large amounts of time gambling, the minimum threshold could be as high as eight hours per day
- Employees can give out £50 cash bonuses or free casino spins to any player that contacts customer service
Giving cash incentives or rebates to customers is nothing new for the industry, but the investigation has shone the spotlight on the practice at a trying time. There are over 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK, with another two million at risk.
Campaigners argue the practice is predatory. Anti-gambling campaigner and Labour MP, Carolyn Harris, said:
bet365 appear to be deliberately preying on vulnerable people and encouraging customers to rack up huge losses to boost their own profits.–Carolyn Harris, Labour MP
In response to the investigation, a statement from bet365 read:
bet365 is at the forefront of various industry initiatives to further promote and develop, safer gambling practices, including its participation in gambling treatment provider Gamcare’s social responsibility quality trademark scheme, the Safer Gambling Standard. As the LCCP makes clear, operators in the gambling industry are entitled to reward their loyal customers provided they do so in a socially responsible way, as Bet365 does. Bet365 takes specific and extensive actions to identify, monitor and assist customers who may be at risk of experiencing gambling-related harm, including by way of the suppressing of marketing material to any such customers and ensuring they are not inappropriately incentivised to intensify their gambling.–Statement, bet365