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Gambling participation in 2019: behaviour, awareness and attitudes

A report providing an overview of consumer gambling behaviour in Great Britain in 2019


The Commission’s online survey also contains questions asked to both gamblers and non-gamblers about wider gambling issues and topics of interest to consumers, including: self-exclusion and gambling management tools, information to players, terms and conditions, complaints, social media & advertising and social gaming. These are asked on a quarterly basis, biannually or annually depending on the nature of the questions.

Complaints from consumers are an important measure for any industry. Any gambler, whether they have gambled online or in premises has the right to make a complaint about a personal gambling transaction, in the first instance, directly to the relevant gambling business. If a consumer and gambling business cannot agree a solution about a gambling transaction that has taken place, a complaint may then be referred to an Alternative Dispute Resolution body (ADR). Consumers can report the way a gambling business is being run to the Commission.

All respondents who have gambled in the past 12 months were asked whether they have ever made a complaint related to a personal gambling experience and, if they had, what the complaint was about and how long it took to gain an initial outcome.

Overall, 7% of gamblers reported having ever made a complaint, with a further 3% wanting to make a complaint but didn’t. By comparison, 90% of gamblers had not needed to make a complaint.

Figure 34 shows that men were more likely to have made a complaint about a personal gambling experience than women, with 10% of men having made a complaint compared with 4% of women. Younger age groups were more likely than average to have made a complaint, with 12% of 18-24 year olds, 11% of 25-34 year olds and 10% of 35-44 year olds reporting having ever made a complaint.

Figure 34: Proportion of gamblers who have ever made a complaint by gender and age (Online Tracker; n=3,138)

Proportion of gamblers who have ever made a complaint by gender and age

Proportion of gamblers who have ever made a complaint by gender and age
All respondents7%
18 to 2412%
25 to 3411%
35 to 4410%
45 to 546%
55 to 644%
65 and over2%

3% wanted to make a complaint but didn’t 90% did not need to make a complaint

Gamblers who have ever made a complaint were asked what their most recent complaint was regarding. Figure 35 shows that the most common reason for the most recent complaint was in relation to incorrect bet settlement (24%), which is an 11 percentage point increase from 2018. Other common reasons for complaining among gamblers include: non-payment of winnings (16%), misleading promotions/adverts (16%) and being unable to withdraw funds (14%).

Figure 35: Reasons for most recent complaint (Online Tracker; n=201)

Reasons for most recent complaint

Reasons for most recent complaint
Incorrect bet settlement24%
Non-payment of winnings16%
Misleading promotions/adverts16%
Unable to withdraw funds14%
Issues relating to customer service7%
Unwanted marketing e.g. emails texts etc.6%
Unfair random number generator/game is fixed5%
Issues relating to terms and conditions4%
Issues relating to self-excluding2%
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