I’m sure by now that it’s clear to most that I know that a large part of the problem that exists in the gambling industry is as a result of the ineffectiveness of The Gambling Commission.  People like me that submit clear cut cases of wrongdoing by companies simply get ignored by them.  You cannot be updated about what they do or don’t do with your cases.  The classic fall-back line from bottom to top is, ‘We don’t deal with individual cases.’  This is utter nonsense because we read about the rulings they take, which since 2014 have been a cut and paste exercise with Money Laundering and Social Responsibility failings being the norm and are nearly always relating to individual cases.  

The cases always site how the failings related to a small number of affected ‘customers’ normally as a consequence of vast sums of stolen money being permitted to be used to gamble with no questions asked about the source of the money.  Are these not individual cases?  Why should it be that an individual case whereby someone ends up prison is ruled upon but other cases are ignored? As a previous detective, I did not have the luxury of filtering cases given to me and telling a victim that I can’t update their individual case and then just file it.  

I’ll give some of my own personal examples to highlight just how bad it is.  I do so with an ability to speak with what are evidence-based truths and I do so because The Gambling Commission think that ignoring people like me means I’ll just go away, but I won’t.  Yesterday I reported on The Commission knowingly ignoring disclosure of a significant sum of stolen money which was made to them over a year ago.  Today I’ll explain how three of my own numerous cases have been ignored.  

Out of these three cases, 2 of the companies were subsequently ruled against, following my submission of material to The Gambling Commission well in advance oof these rulings, with my evidence not forming a part of either of them.  I cannot answer why The Gambling Commission ignored my evidence, neither will they.  The third case involved signing an NDA and then subsequently being sent marketing inducements, which was what the case was about in the first place remarkably. 

It is important to draw your attention to the following licence condition, 15.1.2:

Licensees must as soon as reasonably practicable provide the Commission or ensure the Commission is provided with any information from whatever source that they know relates to or suspect may relate to the commission of an offence under the Act, including an offence resulting from a breach of a licence condition or a code provision having the effect of a licence condition.

Therefore, by me presenting my cases to companies and clearly stating the rules in which they have breached, by default required them to report the cases to the Gambling Commission at the point I made them aware of the evidence.

GVC

I have previously written about the GVC case because it involved me being given an NDA which stipulated that I wasn’t permitted to report the case to The Gambling Commission.  The subsequent NDA had that part removed after I challenged it.  This stipulation clearly goes against the above licence condition.  Not only have The Gambling Commission failed to act on this, they have also failed to deal with the multiple breaches that occurred within the case.  Yet GVC were subsequently fined for various failings.  My case was ignored and not part of the ruling.

M.T. Secure Trade Ltd.

I submitted a case which showed that over a very short period I had an account with the above licence holder.  I had placed £133k of bets over just two days, depositing two lots of £1ks ten minutes apart.  This case is not dissimilar to one of the individual cases ruled upon within the GVC action above.  There was no evidence of ongoing monitoring of my account whatsoever, no source of wealth checks, no interaction.  When I emailed the company to ask to be self-excluded due to my gambling being out of control, they encouraged me to keep the account open.  The company were fined in May 2019, my case was ignored and not a part of the ruling.  

Aspire Global

I accepted a refund from this company and signed an NDA.  The case involved a lack of ongoing monitoring/lack of interaction (of which they disregarded) but also the sending of marketing inducements to me long after I had self-excluded and informed them that my gambling was out of control.  Following this, I repeatedly received further marketing inducements from the company.  This was even after speaking to the head of operations at the company who reliably informed me that ‘lessons had been learnt’. 

These three cases, when presented to the companies, clearly constituted suspected rule breaches.  Therefore, code 15.1.2. detailed above, would have compelled the companies to report the entirety of the cases to The Gambling Commission and by not doing so, constitutes a further breach.  

Here’s a pattern that I am attempting to enlighten people on:

  • When companies are challenged about clear rule breaches and when presented with the evidence, they don’t appear to report them to The Gambling Commission.
  • When The Gambling Commission receive cases reported by ‘individuals’ showing clear breaches, they appear to ignore the material/file it.
  • Despite informing people they do not deal with ‘individual’ cases we know this is untrue (Chris Bruney case and many others).
  • The Gambling Commission rule upon some cases (normally involving criminality) and ignore material relating to the same company from other cases which aren’t crime related.

I look forward to the impending statement from The Public Accounts Committee, following the poor show given by The Commission’s CEO and a member of the DCMS when interrogated recently following the scathing results of the audit that was conducted.  This cycle of unaccountability cannot continue because people’s lives are on the line.  

I am fortunate that receiving marketing inducements don’t affect me anymore.  But by ignoring the evidence, what’s to say that thousands of others that are still in the fog of disordered gambling, didn’t also get these inducements after self-excluding?  How might their journeys have ended because the Gambling Commission ignored the evidence?  Enough is enough, people’s lives are been ruined through negligence and non-adherence to laws and rules and sadly they don’t even know it, just as I didn’t for many years of my life by being bombarded by marketing and never once having any intervention.