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Misleading ads the leading reason for Gambling Commission complaints

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Great Britain Gambling Commission has released a report detailing consumer complaints, which revealed that gamblers are more likely to complain about misleading ads than any other factor.

Data also showed that the total number of complaints to operators was down 14.4% to 132,862 in 2020, including 9,342 consumer complaints received by the Gambling Commission’s Contact Centre.
Of the total operator complaints, 5,617 were escalated to dispute resolution services.

Of these disputes, 3,118 resulted in a resolution, whereas 2,499 disputes were refused.

Part of the data was collected from a online tracker conducted quarterly by Yonder Consulting on behalf of the Gambling Commission, wherein data is collected on approximately 2,000 adults in Great Britain.

The remainder of the data was gathered through the Gambling Commission’s Consumer Voice Research survey, which is conducted by 2CV. It involved a small number of gambling consumers- who had all gambled in the last 12 months- participating in online surveys and panels.

Within the overall quantitative survey data, 8% of gamblers from the 2CV pool had made a complaint regarding gambling in the previous 12 months, while 4% reported that they wanted to make a complaint but had decided against it.

Out of those who had complained or wanted to make a complaint in the last 12 months, 16% stated that misleading advertisements had been the source. Incorrect bet settlement made up 15%, while non-payment of winnings accounted for 14%.

The Gambling Commission also reported that during 2019-2020, 42.2% of the 9,342 calls received by its Contact Centre were regarding customer complaints.

In a quantitative portion of the data collection, participants were given two hypothetical scenarios and asked whether they would complain under those circumstances.

The first scenario outlined that the player had spent more money than they had initially meant to in one gambling session, and the operator had not contacted them to ensure they were okay.

The second scenario theorised that the customer had placed a bet on a football match, believing the bet was reliable, but they had not received the winnings into their account.

A total of 23% of participants said that they would complain in the first scenario, compared to 76% who said they would complain in the second scenario.

In addition, 55% of participants feared they they would not be taken seriously if they complained in scenario one, in comparison to 27% in scenario two.

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