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BBC Panorama investigation shows big surge in bookmaker complaints

Bookmakers have put a number of safer gambling measures in place
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Complaints about British betting companies have soared in the last five years, according to Gambling Commission statistics.

The figures, obtained by the BBC's Panorama, showed there were a record 8,266 complaints to the industry regulator in 2018 compared to 169 in 2013.

However, it should be noted the two figures do not offer a direct like-for-like comparison as the Gambling Commission started to regulate all online gambling available for customers in Great Britain from 2014.

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, told the programme that the rise in figures was down to a number of complex reasons. 

He said: "We're pushing the industry to know its customers, and part of this is actually, possibly, a good sign because it's suggesting that consumers are demanding more of the gambling operators. And I would encourage them to continue to do that."

The betting industry has enacted a number of safer gambling measures in recent months, including a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on most sports advertising, increased funding for problem gambling charities and better use of technology to identify gamblers with potential issues.

The Panorama investigation, titled Addicted to Gambling and hosted by Bronagh Munro, will be broadcast at 8.30pm on BBC1 on Monday.

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We're pushing the industry to know its customers
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