Britain’s biggest online betting firm is doling out cash to gamblers with the biggest losses to encourage them to continue betting, a newspaper investigation has revealed.
Bet365 is rewarding players who accumulate huge losses through the company with weekly cash returns of up to ten per cent.
Campaigners say the scheme keeps vulnerable users locked in a cycle of betting.
Keep on betting
At a training session for new staff at Bet365 an undercover reporter for The Daily Mail was told: “If they’ve lost, say £15,000 in that week, then we’ll give them a weekly rebate”.
In addition to these pay-outs, customers who hit a ‘net loss threshold’ can be turned into VIPs and given incentives, such as sports tickets, to keep on betting.
When the reporter asked if winners were also rewarded the same way as VIPs, they were told ‘no’ because “they’re not making us any money”.
Iain Duncan Smith, Vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling said: “Make no mistake – giving gamblers money to keep losing will turn them into addicts as sure as night follows day.”
Carolyn Harris MP added: “Bet365 appear to be deliberately preying on vulnerable people and encouraging customers to rack up huge losses to boost their own profits.”
“I’m always astounded by how easy it is for the bookmakers to offer incentives to vulnerable people. It is exploitation. This is an immoral industry preying on people at their lowest ebb.”
There are an estimated 480,000 problem gamblers in the UK, with a further two million identified as at risk.