Following the news about Allwyn being chosen as the Preferred Candidate for the fourth National Lottery licence, the current licence holder was issued a fine by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The reasons for the financial penalty were several failures in the operations of Camelot UK Limited related to the company’s mobile app.
Last week, the UKGC also published additional data on the consumers’ opinion on cashless payments at land-based gambling facilities across the UK. The release was displaying data that was based on a survey that was carried out online, gathering the views of 314 gamblers who enjoy making wagers at land-based casinos.
National Lottery Operator Required to Pay a Fine due to Mobile App Failures
Last week, it became clear that the UKGC issued a £3.15 million fine to Camelot UK Limited due to failures in the operations of its mobile app. The company is the current licence holder for the operation of the National Lottery and was announced as the Reserve Applicant for the fourth National Lottery licence competition.
After the UKGC had launched an investigation into the operations of Camelot UK Limited, three major failings were revealed. As a result, the current National Lottery operator is required to pay the financial penalty to good causes.
The company’s failures had a negative impact on quite a few consumers. One of the app failures included about 20,000 players being notified in the app that their winning draw-based tickets were non-winning tickets when their QR codes were scanned through the QR scanner of their devices. These cases were recorded between November 2016 and September 2020.
Another failure of the app was related to 22,210 players being charged and receiving two tickets when they had purchased only a single ticket through the app. All of the players who had gone through the said experience were either refunded for the duplicate ticket or, if the ticket was a winning one, the wagers were considered as duplicates.
The third failure that was discovered during the review, was related to the app distributing marketing messages to players who had either self-excluded themselves through the Gamstop programme or had been identified by the company as individuals potentially suffering from gambling harm. Even though the messages were sent to 65,400 self-excluded or high-risk of gambling harm players, none of them had been allowed to make a purchase on the National Lottery app.
Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of UKGC, ensured that while the Commission is certain that Camelot has taken the right measures to protect its customers, it needs to take responsibility for any of its failures. The regulatory body’s decision was proof of holding every licence holder accountable for their actions and facing the respective consequences.
UK Players Show Higher Acceptance of Cashless payments at Land-Based Casinos
One of the latest publications of the UKGC gave a better understanding of the latest views of consumers when it comes to cashless payments at land-based gambling facilities. The data that was published last week was based on a survey conducted by 2CV and was a part of a bigger Consumer Voice research project.
In 2018, a report of UK Finance showed that the most commonly used payment solution that year was a debit card, overhauling cash payments for the first time. It seemed that the global pandemic had further established the dominance of cashless payments, with more than half of the payments in 2020 being made via cards.
At the beginning of 2021, 2CV was commissioned to launch research that would help the UKGC to gain a better understanding of consumers’ views. The survey included 314 land-based gamblers who had participated in brick-and-mortar gambling activities in the past 12 months. The participants in the survey included people of different ages, genders, and regions to provide a proper representation of different gamblers in the UK.
There were a few key findings of the research, with results showing several trends. According to the study, cash is still considered the best payment method to keep gambling spendings under control. Setting up a budget for gambling purposes is of key importance but cashless payment solutions often lead to players spending over their pre-set limits.
Cash is still the most preferred payment method among players gambling at land-based facilities. However, those who are more prone to experience gambling harm are more likely to resort to other types of payments. With cashless payments becoming more popular among society, a higher number of gamblers may be exposed to gambling-related harms.