In the United Kingdom, a female online gambler has reportedly criticized sites, Casumo.com and LeoVegas.com, for not doing enough to prevent her from running up losses of some £125,000.
Credit card controversy:
According to a Monday report from The Guardian newspaper, the case is thought to be the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Gambling Commission and comes as many are calling for tougher online gambling regulations as well as a review into the associated use of credit cards.
The newspaper reported that the player, who is referred to using the alias ‘Katie,’ began gambling with Casumo in June of 2017, usually placing wagers worth around £100. However, this purportedly all changed one evening in October of that same year when she lodged dozens of bets worth up to £5,000 and was subsequently gifted with a trio of bonus offers.
The Guardian reported that the casino only noticed this unusual betting behavior some eleven hours after it had begun and subsequently sent her an inquiring e-mail. Even though ‘Katie’ consequently responded by declaring that she was feeling ‘suicidal,’ the domain allowed the player to wager about £7,000 more before blocking her account.
In a follow-up e-mail, the United Kingdom-licensed site reportedly stated that the player had been ‘right to point out that there were a number of factors which could have been considered to be red flags of problem gambling’ but that it regularly looks ‘at the account holistically and within the context of the given customer.’
After being blocked from the site, ‘Katie’ stated that she began using mobile-friendly, LeoVegas, and managed to lose approximately £94,049 on wagers worth more than £1 million. This included one 24-hour period in December of 2017 when the former accountant placed some £382,844 in bets and lost £53,985 on the site’s video slots.
Rather than limiting her play, the player stated that LeoVegas awarded her with VIP status and allowed her to carry on placing wagers utilizing multiple credit cards. The newspaper detailed that this came despite the fact that the 42-year-old player had by that point chalked up 291 failed deposit attempts alongside a record of cancelled withdrawals worth £27,550, which are both purportedly indicators of a potential gambling problem.
After one particularly heavy online casino session in January of last year, LeoVegas sent ‘Katie’ an e-mail that had wished her ‘a lovely Christmas and a great start to the New Year’ accompanied by a deposit bonus worth £800.
The player, who is now receiving treatment after racking up debts on nine credit cards, reportedly told the newspaper that LeoVegas had not acknowledged any failings in its procedures surrounding problem gambling but had made a ‘gesture of goodwill’ payment worth £34,000 towards her rehabilitation. She declared that she was surprised by how both operators had missed the telltale signs of an addiction to gambling encompassing her use of multiple credit cards, cancelled withdrawals, failed deposits and an escalation in the frequency and scale of her bets.
‘Katie’ told the newspaper…
“They have algorithms where if you’re spending a lot they make you a VIP or send you a bonus e-mail and they use that to their advantage. They could also use it to prevent problem gambling, which is what the [Gambling] Commission say they should be doing.”
In response, Casumo stated that it had no comment on this particular case other than to assert that some of the supposed particulars had been ‘incorrect.’ For its part, Leo reportedly refused to be drawn on the details of this matter but declared that it ‘takes safer gambling very seriously and follows strict policies and procedures to ensure compliance with our legal obligations and our license conditions.’