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Around 54% of UK bettors claim to have experienced “unfair treatment” at the hands of gambling operators, according to a new survey from Oddschecker owner FairPlay Sports Media.

Between January and February 2024, the affiliate conducted a survey of around 500 UK and 500 US bettors, to gather information about perceptions of fairness among customers in the gambling industry.

While 54% of UK punters suggested they had suffered some kind of unfair treatment from bookmakers, just 16% of their US counterparts said the same.

FairPlay suggested this discrepancy could be down to “market maturity or the US’ generally regarded higher standard of customer service,” but that more research was required to properly understand the difference.

Meanwhile, fairness was considered to be an important factor when choosing an operator by US and UK punters alike, with 78% of American bettors saying fairness was “very important” to them, and 87% of British bettors saying the same.

Of the 54% of UK customers who claimed to have suffered unfair treatment at one point, more than half said such an experience was enough to make them stop using a bookmaker.

What makes an offering fair?

When asked what fairness means to them, common themes in respondents’ answers included “honour” and “respect”.

Generally speaking, there was a sense in the responses that “the bookmaker-customer relationship is not a level playing field in the UK market, while the US responses revolved more around being treated equally to other customers, as well as more emphasis on better prices and transparency,” according to FairPlay.

Other elements required for a bookmaker to offer a fair experience included having the best odds, easy withdrawals, an easy-to-use interface and transparent promotional offers.

Brands bettors believe in

In addition to measuring attitudes to fairness in the gambling sector overall, the survey also asked respondents to share which particular brands they trusted the most.

In the UK, that accolade went to Stoke-on-Trent-based gambling giant bet365, with 40% of UK respondents naming the brand as the fairest operator they held an account with.

That put the firm head and shoulders ahead of its closest competition, with 16% scoring SkyBet as the fairest operator and 12% putting Paddy Power top of the list.

Meanwhile in the US, the market’s two leading brands came out well ahead of the competition among American bettors.

DraftKings was considered the fairest operator overall, with 37% of survey respondents putting the firm top of their list.

Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel came in second, with 33% of respondents suggesting it was the fairest brand they held an account with.

“It’s a hunch we had before the survey that those brands who were deemed ‘fairest’ might also be the leaders in their respective markets, and I’d like to commend the likes of bet365, FanDuel and DraftKings on performing well in this regard,” said FairPlay Sports Media CEO Stuart Simms (pictured). 

“It’s clear that the US and UK markets have crossover when it comes to what ‘fairness’ means, and although the UK may be a more mature market, it could be said – based on these results – that to drive lifetime value and decrease churn, it could learn some more in customer service from across the pond.”

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