Whilst growing up through childhood and into adulthood part of this process involved the learning and application of positive human values. Be truthful, do not lie, take responsibility for your actions and try to help the less fortunate when and if presented with the opportunity. These are all admirable things to do and can be applied in ANY part of everyday life including work. These values are today more than ever, so meaningful to me.
I am a person who has suffered from a negative gambling experience, which is no different from many people before and after me.
With regards to my own personal experience I do take responsibility for my own actions, but I am more than aware of the part that operators within the gambling industry, along with the Gambling Commission and UK Government, played in my suffering for a variety of reasons.
As part of my healing process, I decided to investigate what had happened to me and how this may have occurred. This has armed me with the tools and knowledge to try and help others who were in a similar place to myself and therefore I was able to prove that my experience was not a one off and it appeared that the behaviour of certain operators was an established practice.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but if you were to find somebody in the street in mental distress or with an accidental injury you would call an ambulance. If you found a lost child in public, you would take this child to a responsible person or authority in an effort to reunite them with his/ her parents. If you witnessed somebody become a victim of a crime you would call the Police.
The above I say is sensible and regardless of any rules, regulations or guidance, a way in which a gambling operator should be acting, or any company within any sector. I do struggle to comprehend the following behaviours which an operator will ignore and facilitate:
· The loss of £10,000’s in one 24hour period which instead of flagging up concerns and asking where this customer obtained these funds an operator made them a V.I.P and encouraged this behaviour further.
· A customer who informs a customer service advisor of an operator during a live chat conversation that they are feeling suicidal due to their gambling behaviour who then ignores this cry for help before telling them to take a break and encouraging them to return and gamble on their site.
· The begging of bonuses by a customer after they have spent £1,000’s gambling on credit.
· Allowing customers to open multiple accounts and also circumvent the self-exclusion process with no deceit.
· Requiring strict I.D evidence of a customer who won £1,000’s on a sports bet which was not processed for over a week until this person had gambled away the whole lot. Even though this same company did not ask for the same I.D on registration and when this customer was a regular large loser on this account.
I have chosen the above examples because these are circumstances in which I have seen occur on more than one occasion with different operators and happened to more than one person. It wasn’t a one-off, it’s common.
According to some operators, the above circumstances were neither poor behaviour on their part nor evidence of disordered gambling which required their intervention. Some even feel that strong regarding this stance that they feel the need to use legal entities to threaten individuals who challenge them on these circumstances.
In conclusion, I would like to highlight a very important point in relation to this written piece; how can an individual working for an operator, outside of their work, act in the best interests of a person suffering a medical issue, a lost child, the victim of a crime or a homeless person? But this same person does not have the moral compass to help a disordered gambler showing concerning finance-destroying behaviour.