An online casino player has lost £125,000 with LeoVegas and Casumo, claiming that the iGaming operators have purposefully overlooked her signs of addiction and proffered bonuses instead.
A Problem Gambler Blows £383,000 in a Single Session
Problem gambling in the United Kingdom is a serious issue. With the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) ever so vigilant, the case of Katie, 42, strikes as a reminder of how easily things can spiral out of control. She lost £125,000 playing at LeoVegas and Casumo’s digital skins.
Instead of being weened off, she was offered extra bonuses to keep her wagering, Katie explained. Once, she managed to burn through £383,000 in a single session, raking up a formidable debt across nine credit cards.
Katie is now in treatment, coping with her addiction and complete U-turn in life means. However, her case is just one of the many wake-up calls that regulators today need to be much tougher. The UKGC is looking into the case.
Meanwhile, there have been multiple calls to ban gambling on credit. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has been among the people to pitch in the debate and the national regulator launched a call for evidence in February which is due on May 16.
Meanwhile, Barclays UK has introduced a voluntary ban whereby customers can restrict the use of their debit and credit cards for certain types of online transactions, including payments to online casinos, shopping, and more.
Did Casumo and LeoVegas Knew What They Were Doing?
While the operators deny any wrongdoing, there are certain aspects of the case that should have raised concerns. For example, Katie’s banks refused to approve transactions directed at the casinos and she repeatedly canceled last-minute cash-outs only to spend them back on games.
She quickly earned a VIP status, which is a common recognition that casinos bestow on customers who spend a lot of money – and not necessarily win much back. Casumo threw in extra Wembley Arena tickets into the mix.
Reportedly, company employees called her “prick” after she had complained that Casumo had failed to act. The case wasn’t a high-profile affair until Katie appeared on BBC 4 Radio, where she spoke about her experience.
Hello, My Name is Katie…
Katie’s downward spiral began in June 2017 when she started to play with Casumo. Her behavior got suspicious in October when she made multiple deposits to the tune of £5,000 each. Casumo was alerted to the unusual activity and managed to block the account, but that was only 11 hours after the case was first spotted.
After notifying Casumo that she was feeling “suicidal”, the casino stepped in and limited Katie’s ability to play. Katie then moved onto another casino – the Swedish iGaming giant LeoVegas.
From December 12 through December 13, Katie managed to blow through £383,844 within 24 hours, with the casino idly standing by instead of taking any precautions. Even more irresponsibly still, LeoVegas continued to shower Katie with bonuses well in 2018.
Both Casumo and LeoVegas have faced stiff penalties over their inability to act in cases where the signs of gambling addiction have been very clear.