Gambling means to wager money or something of value on games, sports, or events with a consciousness of risk but hoping to gain a considerable sum of money. Despite loads of fun provided by this popular form of entertainment, too much time and money spent on this activity can also lead to problems. The more time you spend on gambling, the higher amount of cash you can lose.
However, the truth is that the majority of the gamblers often lose their money and those who continue to gamble can ultimately go bankrupt. So, if the compulsive gamblers persist to gamble as there is no support applied to help them, does the gambling company refund the money that they’ve lost?
Why Getting Refunds Is Difficult for Problem Gamblers
Compulsive gambling is an uncontrollable urge to gamble that can result in negative impacts on the person's life and family relationships, which can lead people to continually chase losses and gamble increasingly bigger sums of money.
Therefore, when someone is recognised as a compulsive gambler playing with no GamStop or other self-exclusion solution, this person has fewer chances to be reimbursed. The fact that there is no proof that this person is a problem gambler and thus could not control their money-spending impulses is a barrier to reimbursement. In fact, the worry is that non-addicted persons identify them as compulsive gamblers and request their money whereas the actual problem gamblers might be unaware of the refund system.
How Being on GamStop Can Help Problem Gamblers Get Refunds
A gambling addict can benefit from various self-exclusion schemes to ban themselves from accessing their chosen UKGC gambling sites, and thus increase their chances to get a refund. One of such solutions is GamStop, the national scheme that has been available since April 2018 and has become mandatory for the UK gambling industry.
When they realise that their gambling practice is becoming a problem for them and the people around them, they can subscribe to GamStop service for free. After this, many casinos will consider them to be in recovery, which can positively impact the chances of reimbursement. The players who adhere to this and other responsible gambling practices , are no longer able to access the sites they've chosen.
Conditions for Gamblers to Get Their Money Back
Problem gamblers who seek help by prohibiting themselves from licenced gambling platforms have a higher chance to be refunded. Although some banned players open other accounts and place wagers, those who self-exclude themselves on the iGaming websites with the help of tools for responsible gambling will be considered recovered. For example, the UKGC has opted different views regarding the addicted gamblers who have still gambled on the platform and ordered the gambling operators to give back the money that has been lost.
The betting sites and online casinos that failed to prevent gamblers from being able to bet and lose a large amount of money are penalised. For example, an addicted gambler called George had proven to have brain damage was been refunded from the gambling companies. After being attacked outside a nightclub, he had a brain injury, and even though he hadn't registered at GamStop or asked for his money back, he could get back his money. There is also the famous case of Karen Coughlan, one of the vulnerable gamblers registered at 888 UK Limited who was reimbursed with more than £130,000 by the company after proving that she remained gambling at the platform despite having self-excluded.
Gambling Laws Regulating Refunds in Gambling
The UKGC is responsible for regulating and supervising all types of gambling-related business including the regulations associated with gamblers’ refunds. Unfortunately, there are no unclear laws related to this case but the licensees are required to promote a social responsibility towards their customers.
As a matter of fact, social responsibility is implemented to protect vulnerable players from gambling-related problems. The Labour Party has continued to revise the online gambling legislation because the laws are rather ineffective regarding the most vulnerable players’ protection. The British watchdog requires the licensed operators to actively interact early and appropriately. This requirement does not only prevent vulnerable players to lose control when gambling but also encourages them to choose a self-exclusion tool as an option to limit their gambling activities.
One of the major factors that influences a players chances to be refunded by an online casino is the fact whether they are addicted to gambling, or not. If a casino has reasons to suspect that the refund has been requested by a person with problem gambling habits, their reimbursement request will be most likely turned down. However, if a person is on GamStop or other self-exclusion scheme, it can boos their chances to get their money back, if they were betted legally. Currently, there are several legislative initiatives aiming to protect gamblers and help them get refunds on a more fair and regular basis.