The Daily Mail has been on a mission to uncover the dangerous tactics employed by gambling firms in the UK to grow their customer base and maintain loyal customers. Their recent expose involves one of the biggest betting firms in the world – Bet365.
The expose came after an employee of the Daily Mail went undercover and entered the near impregnable Bet365 base of operations in Gibraltar. The investigation showed that UK’s leading online betting firm has been giving losers cash rebates to keep them gambling. Those who lose huge amounts of money are entitled to weekly cash returns going as high as 10% so they can continue playing.
The exploitative scheme was exposed when a Daily Mail undercover reporter gained access to the company’s six-story Gibraltar headquarters by acting as a new recruit for their customer service department.
However, Bet365 has fully refuted the allegations. A spokesman for Bet365 said the company is giving away rebates in a socially responsible manner, in accordance with the Gambling Commission Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Customers Lavished With Cash Bonuses and Incentives
The reporter, along with other trainees, was made aware of the company’s rewards policy which includes providing VIP entitlements to customers who reach a net loss threshold. These customers are then given enticing incentives, such as the chance to attend the FA Cup Final for free. Weekly rebates are also poured in to high-spending players as a reward for their loyalty.
Customers can gamble for a minimum of eight hours a day and can go well beyond that before a gambling addiction warning is served. Junior staff are also authorized to hand out £50 cash bonuses as well as free casino spins to those who dial the company’s customer service line.
The undercover reporter entered Bet365’s Gibraltar office as a newly-hired customer account advisor and went through several training sessions with 13 other new recruits. The agent discovered a wide array of perks being offered to people who are willing to gamble away their money – from loyalty rewards, cash bonuses, VIP benefits and cash incentives for huge losers.
During one of the training sessions, a training officer explained how the company gives cash rebates for losers so they can continue to play. A customer who racks up losses of £15,000 within a week could get £1,500 back so he could continuously bet.
Bet365 does not only reward players with cash rebates and bonuses, other attractive offers are also up for grabs, such as bingo booster nights, live blackjack cashback schemes, bingo loyalty nights and chances to boost a player’s winnings.
The expose shows that that Bet365 has for many years been cultivating a culture of bonuses and perks to entice potential customers, reward loyalty, rebate losers so they could keep playing, and to persuade inactive customers to go back to gambling. Adding fuel to the fire are the existing staff who take pride in the worldwide success of their company, catering to 35 million bettors all over the globe, the majority of them coming from the UK.
One of the trainers even revealed that Bet365 is looking at expanding its reach and has plans penetrate North America where the company is currently not authorized to operate in.
Locked in Betting Cycle
Anti-gambling campaigners have sounded the alarm bell about the latest revelations saying that this practice only lures customers to keep losing more money and has them trapped in a cycle of betting. Though it is not illegal for betting companies to offer cash returns to players, this method will only promote problem betting, and pose potential risks to around two million vulnerable customers in the UK.
Britain is currently dealing with a gambling addiction epidemic, with 480,000 serious cases recorded. Problem gambling has been identified as one of the main causes of suicides committed by as many as two people every working day in the UK.
Call for Sweeping Reforms
Ministers have welcomed the latest expose, but they are now under pressure to suppress the greedy practices of online bookmakers and introduce radical reforms to gambling regulations. The agency tasked to supervise the industry has failed to put caps on rebates, only focusing on social responsibility.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who now sits as vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling (APPG), is leading calls for a far-reaching overhaul of Britain’s gambling laws, saying Bet365’s practice will only turn customers into gambling addicts. APPG’s Chairman Labour MP Carolyn Harris said Bet365 is putting its own profits above the welfare of its customers.

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