A self-excluded player in the UK with a problem gambling habit has revealed that he has been contacted by the online casino he excluded himself from to claim a £100 cash prize in the midst of his battle against gambling addiction, according to a report from The Mirror newspaper.
The player, named Andy Fowler, self-excluded himself from LeoVegas Casino after losing a whopping total of more than £40,000 over the course of just two years and recognising his own gambling addiction. However, just a few weeks after banning himself from playing at the casino, Fowler was sent a text message requesting him to return to the gaming site and claim the prize.
It is important to note that Fowler had entered the competition in question before self-excluding himself from the casino. He noted to local media that he does not believe LeoVegas should have contacted him for any reason that could have fuelled his addiction after banning himself from all gambling platforms, mobile slots and casino bonuses.
Fowler also noted that although he would not have been able to spend the £100 prize at LeoVegas, he could well have spent it at any other online casino, effectively defeating the purpose of his self-exclusion.
Under the UK’s online gambling laws, players with gambling addiction can self-exclude themselves from playing at certain websites for a five-year period. During this period, they should not receive correspondence from the casino at question for any reason, and should not be offered any bonuses, winnings, or promotions that could encourage their problem gambling habits.
LeoVegas, which entered the British iGaming market in 2015, has noted that the only purpose of its message to Fowler was to inform him about the £100 prize owed to him, the draw for which he had signed up for before excluding himself from the casino site. The Malta-headquartered operator also stated that it did not intend to advertise its services to a self-excluded punter, and believes that it was in line with local regulations for the responsible provision of online gambling services.
Operators’ failure to protect at-risk players from gambling related harm has already prompted the UK Gambling Commission to threaten a huge crackdown of the nation’s iGaming industry. The Commission recently announced that it is now investigating 17 UK-licensed casinos for ‘serious failings’ in their measures to control money laundering and problem gambling issues.
Up to five of these operators could have their licenses revoked altogether, should enough evidence come to light that they are not operating in a socially responsible manner. The UKGC has since notified all licensed operators that they must ensure that they comply fully with its regulations or face hefty sanctions should any violations be uncovered.