London-based Ladbrokes, one of the country’s biggest betting and gambling companies has been accused of customer profiling and manipulating its interface to restrict customers with a better winning history.
There were customer complaints which said that their accounts were shut down and that the operator was trying to keep seasoned bettors with good winning track records off the platform. On the other hand, the users who have lost significant sums of money were urged to place more bets through various offers and promotional techniques.
Following the complaints, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched an investigation into the alleged discrepancies and manipulations deliberated by the UK’s top gambling operator.
Of late, the UKGC has called for punitive measures on those found to be violating the regulations and consumer protection guidelines. Also, the gambling regulator has demonstrated that they are committed to combatting the growing menace of problem gambling by ensuring better compliance measures in the country.
Earlier last week, in a significant policy shift, the gambling regulator had said that they now see gambling as a potential disease and that new and stricter regulations are on the way.
Daily Record, a Scottish media house which studied the complaints, have alleged that Ladbrokes is actively engaged in customer profiling- specific customers are bifurcated into segments, and some are regarded as High-Value Customers (HVC).
The company then manipulates these high-value customers exploiting their vulnerabilities to wager more and more by exposing them to offers and adverts. On the other hand for the players with a better history of winnings, the platform made it difficult to place their bets.
Also, there were adverts and offers exclusively designed for the high-value customers.Those who have had a better history of winnings complained that they never came across any such offers.
The UKGC is already investigating the allegations, and if found correct, Ladbrokes could be in a major trouble for rigging the bets and using customer profiling as a tool to instigate more betting.
Ladbrokes has denied the accusations saying that the information about the customers is outdated.
Earlier in April, following the maximum stake reduction policy on FOBT’s (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) coming into effect Ladbrokes had announced that they would be closing around 1000 stores. The company owns and operates a fleet of 3,475 betting stores all across the UK.