Lived Experience Community Respond to Remote Customer Interaction Call for Evidence

Updated: Feb 17

A team of lived experience researchers surveyed 133 individuals from the lived experience community consisting primarily of individuals with gambling experience and a smaller contingent of affected others between 21st January 2021 and 29th January 2021.

The value of lived experience cannot be overstated, especially in a neglected public health issue where understanding and awareness is limited. Ultimately, there is no way of ensuring that only individuals with genuine lived experience fill in an online survey. Therefore, we utilised a mixed-methods approach to maximise the internal validity of any findings reported.


1. Duty of Care

2. Responsibility for Safe Gambling

3. Gambling Activity Data

4. Customer Data

5. Soft Cap

6. Hard Cap

7. Uniform Restrictions

8. Gambling as a Financial Service

Duty of Care

“Do online gambling companies have a duty of care, to interact appropriately and in a timely manner?” N = 132 survey participants. Nearly all (94%) survey participants felt that online gambling companies have a duty of care, to interact appropriately, and in a timely manner.

Based on the experiences that you have seen, why do you think gambling companies should have a duty of care to its customers? (N=125)
Both harm prevention and addiction (49/125)
I am a compulsive gambler that would make numerous attempts to load money into accounts when I had no funds…”
“Because of the power of addiction and the harm it can cause to both addicts and their loved ones.
“Throughout my addiction…I never once received an intervention from anyone…despite displaying clear levels of harm…A compulsive gambler like myself just doesn't see responsible gambling messages. My addiction doesn't compute this self-serving system..
My son took his own life due to his gambling addiction and one of the things I found after his death was his frustration with the gambling companies when he reached out to them for help.
Harm prevention (40/125)
“Prevention of problem and underage gambling”
“gambling has the ability to destroy life’s on the first interaction. Inheritance blown on choosing red over black.
“Player protection, LCCP, the right thing to do
“Because they sell a harmful product, and for moral obligations”
Addiction (31/125)
from my own experiences it's pretty obvious when someone is struggling to control gambling and I'm sure the online sites can see this but choose to ignore it”
“Because they provide a high intensity service with known addictive triggers”
“They have the data and algorithms to identify their at risk users, but have too often exploited them by rewarding them with free bets and VIP bonuses rather than intervene positively.
“When sometimes they're the only person that can see how bad someone's gambling is. They should have a duty of care to step in and make sure that person is being responsible and isn't showing the signs of addiction”
Neither (5/125)
“Because the customer has found themselves in or on one of their licenced premises”
Based on the experiences that you have seen, why do you think gambling companies should not have a duty of care to its customers? (N=8)
Should have a duty of care (3/8)
"They should care more"
"As I am a compulsive gambler they should stop the TV adds and also we as people are starting to expect gambling as part of normal day live as everywhere you turn its about gambling"
"They should care thats the end of it or even better they can f*** off!"
Personal responsibility (2/8)
"There is a lack of personal responsibility in the current climate with those who choose to commit crime being able to use gambling as an excuse for their actions with now many militant anti gamblers using crime as an excuse to profit in breach of the Gambling Commissions own objectives"
"A person must take responsibility for their own actions."
Unclear (2/8)
"I believe they take care of their customers to the extent that they are predisposed to consume and develop their spending power with them."
Inadvertently caused more harm (1/8)
"Creation of perverse incentives/ risk-free gambling. If vulnerable people can get their losses back, they are more likely to experience more gambling-related harm than less."

Responsibility for Safe Gambling

“Is it fair for safe gambling to be solely the responsibility of the customer?” N = 133 survey participants. Most (92%) survey participants believe it is unfair for safe gambling to be solely the customer's responsibility.

Could you explain where you think the responsibility for safe gambling should lie and why? (N=133)
Both the individual and the operator (50/133)
It is a joint thing for both customer and client but the overriding responsibility must be with the company providing the service. A pub would not keep serving alcohol to a customer until they died of alcohol poisoning, so a gambling company should not be allowed to facitate gambling to the point where a person has no money left for food, rent, heating etc...
“With the individual and the provider. Gambling is addictive and those who are susceptible and who become addicted need support and care that the providers, without regulation, would do nothing about because their sole motivation is profit.
“It should lie with both parties. But as a CG I couldn’t see that I was digging myself into a hole financially and had there been some safeguards in place to monitor or alert that I was gambling excessively I might not have gotten into so much trouble with it all.
The operator (44/133)
Bookies should be looking after their clients.
The Gambling Industry profit from addiction. Their bottom line is profit. Their most profitable customers are those on the addiction spectrum. If they have no responsibility, they will encourage and permit addiction. That's what people think about drug dealers… Grooming like this is closer to what is seen among paedophile rings, and human trafficking.
Broad and multiple bodies (30/133)
Gambling Regulator/Commission/Public Health/Government. As with any legal activity that is known to cause harm, safeguarding must be put in place. The Customer of course is ultimately responsible however they most be informed/protected and not coesered into harmful behaviour by gambling companies”
“responsibility ought to lie with everyone. The DCMS, The Gambling Commission; the banks, the operators; the people themselves. We all have a part to play”
Unclear (6/133)
“Amounts you’re able to stake should be some what relative to what you actually earn (money you’ve won would be treated differently) so that people don’t lose a months wage in minutes and then get into debt just to survive the rest of that month etc”
Individual (3/133)
"People have to take some responsibility"
"The 18+ consumer. A gambling company can never accurately determine   how much a person is able to spend on their leisure and entertainment   activities, so the onus is on the adult to do so."
"With the customer who makes a choice"

Customer Data

“What information should operators obtain to ensure customers are not gambling beyond their means?” N = 133 survey participants. The majority of survey participants consider income (80%), lines of credit (77%), loans (71%), payment history (68%). Just under a majority of participants felt that collections accounts (50%) should be considered and a small portion (6%) of survey participants regard that operators should obtain no further information. Additionally, 5% responded with suggestions such as "source of money" and “all and any suitable information that would be easily available”, should also be obtained.

Gambling Activity Data

“Which gambling-related factors, other than money spent, should operators have to consider?” N = 132 survey participants.

Why should an operator look at other gambling-related factors as well as the amount of money spent? (N=128)
"A gambler's behaviour and circumstances will directly influence the amount of money they spend gambling."
"Because gambling when it becomes a problem is not just about money... Money is not the only factor, spending more time playing slots rather than spending time with family and friends or working for instance."
"Because it would quite quickly become apparent to an operator that   someone who is gambling 8 hrs a day, multiple deposits and manic activity that the person was/is out of control"
"As the other factors often are an easier indication that individuals have lost all control"
"Because gambling addicts lose interest in their lives and isolate themselves spending to much time gambling, Also could be drug related"

Soft Cap

“Do you agree with a £100 per month affordability threshold?” N = 133 survey participants.

How would you have reacted if you were stopped from gambling until you passed an affordability assessment? (N=132)