We’re just tiptoeing our way into 2020, and already the Gambling industry in the UK has come under fire for its VIP Programs. Indeed, just two days into the new year and The Guardian newspaper got hold of a ‘secret’ UKGC report. This report contained unsettling data on gambling VIP programs. They managed to obtain this report under the ‘freedom of information act.
Overall, the report included info on nine operators who work both online and retail. However, the Guardian gave attention to two different parts of the report.
Firstly, it looked at the disproportionate number of deposits made by VIPs. It also looked at the fact that Gambling companies over-represent VIP when it comes to problem gambling within the UK. One operator got 83% of its account deposits from just 2% of its players. Meanwhile, another reported that 5% of its players accounted for 58% of deposits. There was another that claimed 3% of its players accounted for 48% of deposits.
However, deposits don’t mean losses. So, it was unclear how much they lost, how much they won, and how much they withdrew. Having said that, there are about 87 thousand UK VIP gamblers, and about 8% of these have a gambling problem. The overall problem gambling rate is around 0.8% nationally.
The UKGC is now encouraging gambling companies to improve the way they manage customers; especially VIPs and high rollers. Plus, it said that it would take “robust action” against any company that doesn’t fulfil its obligations towards customer protection. It is prepared to “get tougher” to make changes happen.
Indeed, there is talk of the UKGC banning VIP programmes altogether. However, it may just introduce a code of conduct when it comes to promoting VIP incentives. This may well have an impact on gambling company profits, but in the long run, it will benefit the players.