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Correspondence re BetIndex December 2019 to February 2020

Request

I'd like to make a freedom of information request regarding a couple of strands of the Gambling Commission's work.

  1. Please could the Commission say how much correspondence from consumers it received regarding Gamesys in the years from 2017 to 2020, i.e. following the years it had been investigating the company for failings (2014-2016).
  2. Could it also provide the number of complaints it receives per year from consumers regarding failures by operators. I presume this is something the Commission has logged? If not, a ballpark figure will suffice.
  3. Could the Commission provide all correspondence regarding Football Index and BetIndex between December 2019 and February 2020?

Response

Thank you for your request which has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

The Gambling Commission responses to your enquiries are as follows:

  1. Please could the Commission say how much correspondence from consumers it received regarding Gamesys in the years from 2017 to 2020, i.e. following the years it had been investigating the company for failings (2014-2016)

I can confirm that the Commission does hold information relating to the number of instances of consumer contact between 01/01/2017 – 31/12/2020 regarding Gamesys Operations Limited.

This information covers all instances of consumer contact, including:

  • Consumer complaints
  • Engagement
  • General enquiries
  • Licensee enquiries.
  1. Could it also provide the number of complaints it receives per year from consumers regarding failures by operators. I presume this is something the Commission has logged? If not, a ballpark figure will suffice.

I can confirm that information is held by the Commission relating the number of instances of consumer complaints which can then be further broken down by a variety of categories.

  1. Could the Commission provide all correspondence regarding Football Index and BetIndex between December 2019 and February 2020?

In an effort to capture any recorded information held by the Commission falling within the scope of this part of your request we have searched across our email system for records containing the terms "Betindex" OR "Bet Index" OR "Football Index".

We have limited this search by the date parameters specified in your request.

This search has shown that there are almost 14,000 items potentially relevant to your request.

As described above, we have been required to search the Commission’s systems to identify information that we hold that may fall within the scope of your request. These searches have produced a high volume of potentially relevant items and each document would need to be reviewed in order to extract the relevant material to fulfil your request.

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for public authorities, such as the Commission, is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

We estimate that it would take in excess of 18 hours to determine appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract any relevant information in reference to your request as there a high volume of records which may contain relevant information and would need to be checked individually.

When a public authority applies the Section 12 exemption to a request, the FOIA guidance (opens in new tab) specifically states that a public authority should avoid providing any information found as a result of a search as it denies the requestor the right to express a preference as to which parts of the request they may wish to receive within the appropriate time limit.

If you are able to narrow your request, we may be able to provide some data by working up to the time limit.

Until we are able to process the search and retrieval of the information you have requested, that can be provided within the statutory time limit, we are unable to ascertain if other exemptions will apply to the material retrieved, which would also prevent disclosure.

Please note, any refined request would be processed as a new request and the 20 working day statutory time limit would apply.

Kind regards

Review of the decision

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your Freedom of Information request you are entitled to an internal review of our decision. You should write to FOI Team, Gambling Commission, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP or by reply to this email.

Please note, internal review requests should be made within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests made outside this timeframe will not be processed.

If you are not content with the outcome of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have already exhausted the review procedure provided by the Gambling Commission.

The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in a new tab), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Information Management Team
Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham B2 4BP

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