An addiction to gambling is a serious issue created by the betting industry and something that big brands are trying to help alleviate. Recognising a gambling problem and the need for help can be incredibly different and for loved ones, a refund for the catastrophic consequences faced by some problem gamblers may seem worthy of compensation. It is actually a relatively new phenomenon to receive compensation due to a gambling addiction and the eligibility criteria can be quite specific.
What is problem gambling?
There are several important differences between enjoying a flutter during seasonal events such as the world cup and grand national and risking your livelihood over betting. Problem gamblers are capable of making impulsive choices that can have a detrimental effect on their finances, relationships and careers.
True gambling addiction is when someone experiences a continuous and compulsive urge to gamble despite the potentially crippling consequences. In fact, many gamblers who make up this vulnerable group, want more than anything to stop. Almost ten out of a thousand people are meant to be currently struggling with a gambling problem.
Gamblers anonymous is an open community providing support, solace and the opportunity for members to share their burdens. If you are wondering whether or not you or someone you know would do well to contact such a service, it is worth considering the following questions.
- Do you have a habit of betting more than you can financially afford to lose?
- Have you ever tried to win back the money that you have lost gambling?
- Has your gambling ever caused you any health problems such as stress or made you anxious?
- Have you ever felt guilty about the money you have gambled and the consequences?
For genuine problem gamblers, almost all of the above instances will probably resonate, most all of once.
Self exclusion schemes
Nowadays there are numerous platforms and services gambling addicts can leverage to help limit their compulsions. All gambling providers are obliged to offer clients a self-exclusion scheme, the premise behind this system is to stop customers from being able to access sites for a chosen time period. Customers can choose from six months at a time, a year or five years. If you do opt into a self-exclusion scheme you should no longer receive marketing emails and offers in addition to being banned from placing new bets.
It is worth noting that for those hooked on the idea of a quick ‘fix’, such bans do little to truly deter the behaviour as new accounts under new credentials can easily be registered.
Software for problem gambling
Apps such as Gamban and Gamstop have had some success in helping reduce the transactions of problem gamblers by blocking gambling software and websites. Unfortunately, as this route depends upon a person’s own willpower it can be deleted and become obsolete quite easily.
Who’s eligible for compensation?
Claiming compensation for excessive gambling is a complex issue with many grey areas. Unfortunately, people that aren’t genuinely problem gamblers may be able to wrongly take advantage and request their money back from firms.
Some problem gamblers even disagree with the fact that companies could be obligated to refund money that someone lost themself. In short, is it the gambling companies’ responsibility to return funds that were knowingly given?
More could certainly be done by leading firms to prevent known gambling addicts from simply creating new accounts after self-excluding and this would be a valuable start.
In circumstances where a problem gambler has still been able to place bets, online bookmakers and betting sites and now required to return the money that has been lost back to the client.
The UK’s laws on gambling are slightly unclear, currently, the Gambling Commission are responsible for dictating and implementing the rules and regulations that betting companies must follow. If a book-making company would like to provide their services to UK clients then they will need to be issued a licence by the UKGC and follow the relevant conditions of that licence.
In 2022, many civilians and MPs agree that the gambling world is due fresh legislation as it was last updated over 17 years ago in 2005. The vastly online nature of gambling transactions is hardly touched upon within the existing rules. The last update came into effect in October 2021 when the following new rules were implemented:
An outright ban of four key features of online slots games:
- features that speed up play or give the illusion of control over the outcome
- slot spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds
- auto-play – which can lead to players losing track of their play
- sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake.
Extra changes include:
- operators must clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session
- alongside the changes for online slots, the Commission has also introduced a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals for all online gambling – this function previously allowed consumers to re-gamble money they had previously requested to withdraw.
Currently, there are estimated to be around 2.2million problem gamblers across the UK suggesting more needs and should be done for vulnerable people.
If you’ve had an unaffordable loan that you couldn’t repay due to a gambling problem, you should consider making an unaffordable loan claim. You can read more about unaffordable loan claims on our Payday Loans, Short Terms Loans, Guarantor Loans, Doorstep Loans, Logbooks Loans or Credit Cards pages. You can also read more articles about Financial Product claims on our blog.
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