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National Strategic Assessment 2020

This report sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public

  1. Contents
  2. The person gambling
  3. The person gambling - Case studies - Clearly unaffordable gambling

The person gambling - Case studies - Clearly unaffordable gambling

Operator A

This customer’s first deposit was £10,000 which triggered the operator to ask the customer to complete a safer gambling self-assessment. Eleven days later, the customer deposited another £40,000 within an hour and a further £10k the following day. Open source checks resulted in the operator estimating the customer’s annual salary to be £416,743 per annum.

However, Gambling Commission compliance staff discovered the searches showed the highest possible salary for the customer was £122,683. The customer’s account was reviewed by the operator several months after registration and suspended because it was deemed there was insufficient information to support the level of spend. The customer had lost half their known salary in two weeks, most of this within one hour.

Operator B

A customer lost £34,849 in four months, of which £33,000 was lost in the last nine weeks of play. Although the customer hit various bet frequency triggers and deposit triggers and received pop-ups, no evaluation was carried out to see if these had been effective.

Human interaction was not attempted until four months had passed, and the customer did not respond. Shortly after, the customer requested self-exclusion for five years, suggesting they were likely to be experiencing gambling related harm. The operator held no information on the customer to support this level of spend.

Operator C

A customer lost approximately £33,000 in three months without any source of income being identified or any affordability assessment taking place. This is despite the customer hitting several triggers for potential gambling harm.

The customer admitted on a phone call to spending more than usual. Compliance staff examined the information held by the operator and this suggested the customer had an income of only £8,500 each year. After approximately ten weeks, the customer admitted during a telephone call to losing too much money and was only then proactively barred by the operator.

Operator D

A customer lost £54,000 within a month of signup despite the operator not having established affordability for the customer. Shortly after joining the customer’s account was suspended due to safer gambling concerns. When a successful call was made, the customer said they had ‘had a shocker over the weekend’ but were happy to lose £20,000 a month. The customer said they would be happy for the operator to set a deposit limit for them, but this was not done.

During a follow up call two days later, the customer said they had been spending more than usual due to having ‘nothing to do for eight weeks’ due to lockdown. They said they had then had a spree because sports betting had started up again. A £20,000 deposit limit was put on the customer’s account and the account was reactivated, despite the operator still not having conducted an affordability assessment. Two days after the account had been reactivated the customer removed the deposit limit and continued to deposit funds, losing approximately £25,000 in two weeks. At the time of our assessment the operator had still not established affordability for the customer.

Operator E

The customer was not identified as a potential gambling harm concern until they had lost £11,000 in 6 weeks. The interaction appeared to have no impact as the customer went on to lose a further £22,000 within a month. The customer was able to lose over £33,000 in around ten weeks without any affordability assessment taking place.

Operator F

The customer lost £24,800 within three days. The operator had not carried out any affordability assessment for the customer.

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The person gambling - Customer affordability
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The person gambling - GC action
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