Online bookmaker MansionBet treated a gambler to different VIP perks after accepting his redundancy payout as proof that he could afford to wager massive amounts of money, The Guardian reports.
An investigation by the newspaper shows that MansionBet rewarded a 44 male gambler with multiple free bets and even football tickets as he continued to place larger and larger bets. Behavior of this kind is considered a sign that the customer has a gambling-related problem by the UK Gambling Commission’s rules.
At one point the gambler provided MansionBet with a copy of a redundancy settlement with his former boss and asked to receive free bets in return for a promise to keep depositing big amounts funded namely by his redundancy payout.
The MansionBet customer once deposited £8,000 with the betting operator and a VIP manager phoned him to ask for some sort of proof that he could afford to wager away such a large sum. The money represented “a large chunk” of the gambler’s annual salary.
The gambling customer gave verbal reassurance that he had started a new job, which the VIP manager accepted and treated him to more free bets.
The MansionBet staffer reportedly told the gambler during a telephone call that he could inform the operator’s responsible gambling department that he had received the redundancy settlement, was managing it responsibly, and the gambler had found a new job.
The VIP manager also noted that they “don’t even want to do it but we have to do it because the UK gambling regulators make us do it.” The gambler was rewarded a £100 free bet and was told by his VIP manager that he would always be rewarded if he gave proper answers to said manager’s KYC inquiries.
A “Rave Review”
A few days later, the gambler received another free bet after leaving a “rave review” of MansionBet on Trustpilot, a website that features consumer reviews of brands.
The VIP manager once offered the gambler £500 in free bets if he deposited £3,000. The MansionBet staff member told the punter that while he hoped the rewards was lucky for him, he actually tended “to give bigger bonuses when you lose.”
The MansionBet gambler told The Guardian that the gambling operator “knew I had been made redundant and could see my funds deteriorating every day and yet still allowed me to deposit sickening amounts of money.”
A spokesperson for the bookmaker said that it had refused a request from the gambler to refund money he had deposited and that the case “has been reviewed thoroughly by senior management […] and we are satisfied all conclusions drawn are in line with our regulatory requirements.”
News about the MansionBet case emerge as the UK Gambling Commission considers whether to ban VIP programs, which have been linked to a number of cases in which gambling operators have failed to prevent vulnerable customers from spending away large amounts of money. Any many of these cases have resulted in hefty fines.
Last month, the regulator fined online gambling operator Betway for a series of transgressions that involved social responsibility and money laundering shortcomings linked to seven of its VIP customers.