In the very latest Smart Betting Club podcast, I tackle the growing number of complaints being made about bookmakers, specifically when it comes to issues of account suspensions, delays processing withdrawals and some of the extra ‘security’ and ‘ID’ checks that are increasingly becoming commonplace.
The allegations some are making is that bookmakers are adding unnecessary and unreasonable financial and account security checks to make life as difficult as possible for a proportion of customers.
This coupled with significant concerns over the effectiveness of the complaints options currently available via ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ providers has left many punters relying on small claims court for a solution to problems with bookmakers.
The fear is that there are likely a sizeable number of customers who are unaware of their rights or put off by the work involved to get a resolution and who might be giving up on the funds held inside their accounts.
To discover more on this topic – in this podcast episode you can hear my interviews with 2 different punters on the experiences they have had when it comes to dealing with bookmakers and alternative dispute resolution providers.
This includes one customer who took a major UK high street firm to small claims court to successfully access the funds in his suspended account and pro-punter, turned licensed bookmaker, Anthony Kaminskas of AK Bets.
Over the past few months, I have become increasingly aware of more punters complaining about this issue and the feeling that the current system for dealing with bookmaker disputes is not fit for purpose.
Why this needs tackling in the UK gambling review
Hence why I wanted to put together this special podcast episode to help raise awareness so it can be discussed as part of the upcoming gambling review in the UK.
Many of the extra checks bookmakers are requesting are coming solely at the withdrawal stage or if and when a customer wins money – something that seemingly goes against both the rules set by both the Gambling Commission and the CMA. It is also currently unclear how or if these rules are being enforced by these organisations.
This coupled with poor bookmaker customer service and lengthy delays to seek answers and resolutions when an issue arises has created this growing issue for many punters.
Given the upcoming gambling law changes in the UK – this is an opportune time to raise awareness of these issues and to demand they be tackled as part of a new suite of measures to make betting fairer for all.
Its also a vitally important topic given the current debate on how the betting black market might grow if affordability and deposit limits are introduced. Surely if punters also feel they are being treated unfairly by licensed bookmakers who might not pay them out if they win, what incentive do they have to not try out the black market in its place?
Resources and help if you have a dispute
In this email I also wanted to share details on the brilliant new resource available at the Justice For Punters website if you have a bookmaker dispute.
The team at JFP have put together a series of self-help guides that take you through the whole process such as at this ‘any other dispute’ page.
This walks you through all the options on how to tackle a dispute – starting with dealing with the bookmaker, through to dispute resolution services and even small claims court.
It is a brilliant resource and one that is essential for any punter that might have an issue with a bookmaker, now or in the future! https://justiceforpunters.org/
Proof of this comes in the podcast episode itself as it was Justice For Punters who helped instruct one of my guests, Andrew on how he should succesfully handle the dispute he held with one bookmaking firm.
If interested in this story on bookmaking disputes and the gambling law changes, you can also follow updates on the SBC Twitter account @sbcinfo