An accountant who blew £125,000 on online casinos has hit out at the betting companies for allowing her to continue gambling.
The 42-year-old said online casinos LeoVegas and Casumo continued to shower her with promotional offers when she said they should have recognised her huge debt.
Her case is also understood to be the subject of an inquiry by the Birmingham -based Gambling Commission body.
It is currently considering ‘prohibiting or restricting the use of credit cards’ to tackle problem gambling.
The Guardian reports how Casumo only suspended her account when she told them she felt ‘suicidal’.
The accountant said that the companies ignored obvious signs of her addiction that saw her place bets of £380,000 in a single session, losing £54,000.
Documents show she made dozens of failed deposits when her banks refused to let her place bets.
But instead of being stopped, she was actually made a ‘VIP customer’ and given free spins on games.
Casumo, a Malta-based online betting company, even offered her tickets to events in Wembley Stadium as her betting spiralled out of control.
She complained to the company, saying that they should have stepped in earlier than they did.
Her bets rocketed from around £100 in June 2017 to around £5000 just months later.
The Guardian say the accountant made dozens of these huge wagers throughout October 9th that year, and instead of being stopped, she was rewarded with three bonus offers.
Casumo only sent her an email about her betting 11 hours afterwards. Her account was only suspended, having wasted another £7000, when she told a customer adviser she felt ‘suicidal’.
The company emailed her saying that they only ‘look at accounts holistically’ and did not consider what were described as ‘red flags’.
The accountant relapsed again in December 2017, gaining VIP status while betting with multiple credit cards with Swedish company LeoVegas.
The VIP status came despite 291 failed deposit attempts and the cancellation of withdrawals worth £27,550.
In a 24-hour spree she squandered £53,985 on a LeoVegas slot machine game. She placed £382,844 worth of bets.
She was given ‘a special £800 loyalty bonus’ on January 3rd 2018, accompanied by a cheery message that opened with: ‘I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a great start to the new year!’
She had placed a staggering £1m of bets at that point, losing £94,049.
The company paid £34,000 towards her rehab as ‘a gesture of goodwill’ – but she said they didn’t acknowledge any failing in its problem gambling controls.
She said: “They have algorithms where if you’re spending a lot they make you a VIP, or send you a bonus email and they use that to their advantage. They could also use it to prevent problem gambling, which is what the commission say they should be doing.”
The Gambling Commission said it could not comment on individual cases.
LeoVegas echoed that sentiment, adding that it ‘takes safer gambling very seriously.’
Casumo said it could not comment on the case but insisted some of the details were ‘incorrect’.