Gambling Commission issues another warning to bookmakers
Another week, another shot across the bows of bookmakers from the Gambling Commission.
This time it was triggered by Betway who have been offering a free £5 bet if customers posted a review on the consumer rating website, Trustpilot.
The Commission drew attention to the requirements relating to gambling marketing, reiterating that “All marketing of gambling products and services must be undertaken in a socially responsible manner. A failure to do so can lead to tough action from us, including the issue of financial penalties.”
The incentive of free bets for posting a review, which need not be favourable, had been running since 2017 and, according to research undertaken by The Times, had resulted in a leap in five-star ratings for Betway.
Betway said that their practice was in accordance with Trustpilot’s rules. That may be so, but it’s somewhat missing the point as Trustpilot is not charged with regulating the betting industry. It’s the rules of the Gambling Commission with which Betway have to be fully compliant.
There’s also the fact that Betway’s incentive was disclosed by The Times, which not only results in negative headlines, but also means the newspaper is closely scrutinising an industry of which it continues to be critical.
Every time there’s a suggestion that vulnerable people with gambling problems are at risk due to bookmaker marketing and incentives, however innocuous they may seem, those with an agenda against betting are given a little more ammunition to use against the industry.
Hats off to Ascot for producing a large-print version of their racecard. Twice the page-size of the standard version, it’s a thoughtful move by the Berkshire track for the visually impaired.
Newbury playing with fire
Newbury has presented the track’s annual members with its plans for new facilities for metal badgeholders. In a few weeks’ time there will be a new lounge, and newly sited viewing and seating.
They will be located in the Hampshire Stand, situated beyond the winning line, which means a move from the main Berkshire Stand.
However good the new facilities are, there’ll be those who wont like the changes. It’s the nature of annual members to be change-resistant. So, whatever Newbury does, it will be tantamount to the Daily Telegraph going tabloid, a new recipe being introduced for Werther’s Originals, or P&O Mediterranean cruises calling at Magaluf.
Good luck Newbury.
A champion cause
The Secret Racegoer, in his despatch from Irish Champions Weekend, http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2CT reported that €1.3m had been raised through the The Pat Smullen Champion Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh, and that there was more to come. It’s great to say that the money raised has now reached €2.5m.