A Case to Answer?
Perhaps the only way to get some kind of change would be to take the Operator(s) directly to court, on the evidence that their customer experienced mental health issues and/or was driven to suicide by the Operator(s) while the Operator(s) continued to relentlessly market their products at them and failed to check if they were of sound mind or financially stable.
Even after Chris Bruney’s death, his partner found messages from various gambling firms, one offering him £300 of free bets trying to lure him back in. The same with Ryan Myers.
Problem or Pathological Gambling is, after all, a form of temporary insanity where the person has lost all rational control. In fact it has been medically proven that a compulsive gambler’s frontal lobe actually shuts down during gambling, making it impossible to walk away from the FOBT or stop gambling online until they run out of funds and can no longer bet.
So one might think of a Gambling Operator as a company who holds up a large sack into which customers empty their pockets every payday without fail, until they either somehow break free or kill themselves.
Where is the “FUN” in that? Certainly none from the gambler’s perspective.
Corporate or Involuntary Manslaughter?
Gambling firms have databases which log customer payment transactions and show patterns of irregular or abnormal gambling. As Operators have full 360 visibility over healthy and unhealthy customer behaviour, they could therefore be held accountable.
Take, for example a company who sells a knife to a customer:
- The customer already resides in the database and company records show that the customer has many previous knife purchases (significantly more than the norm).
- The salesperson can see the customer has lacerations on their arms and neck, but sells the knife to them anyway.
- The person subsequently injures or kills themselves with that knife.
In this scenario the company would most likely be in breach of several laws and codes of practice.
Similarly Licensed Gambling Operators who allow customers to get into financial difficulties, develop health issues (physical or mental) or die through use of their products could also be held accountable.
- The Directors could potentially be imprisoned for corporate or involuntary manslaughter
- The Organisation could lose their gambling licence and no longer be allowed to trade
- Both could end up with their brand & personal reputation being associated with Harm
As we mentioned previously, a Widow won damages of $23.6Billion when she successfully sued tobacco company R.J. Reynolds following her husband’s death from lung cancer.
Food for thought.