n a letter written by Paddy Power's 'VIP Relationship Executive', a gambler with heavy losses is congratulated for becoming a 'recognized VIP', which brings a range of benefits including increased stakes, the Daily Mail reports.
The company is facing claims they are offering ‘bad gamblers’ VIP status which enables them to bet 10 times the stake available to most customers.
The gambler from the letter told the Daily Mail that the VIP status offer came unsolicited following a series of losing bets. The perks of VIP membership are superficially attractive, but appear designed to encourage punters to maintain their gambling — and as a result the bookies' profits.
Long-term losers are courted by companies across the gambling industry, which campaigners have compared to grooming. In this case, Paddy Power offered the client free bets and the chance to put on 10 times the maximum stake available to other customers, a so-called privilege that could result in further losses.
Under the heading VIP Promotions, the letter reads: 'Our VIPs receive regular loyalty free bets so you can be sure that your activity is rewarded when betting with Paddy Power.
'On top of this we give our VIPs 10x the value on the majority of our headline on-site offers, so if a promotion is advertised with a max stake of £20 online, it would mean that you can stake up to £200 yourself as a VIP.'
Paddy Power also showers big-spending customers with tickets and hospitality at premium sporting events, using an association with Premier League football clubs, the Open Championship and gems of the racing calendar such as the Cheltenham Festival to enhance their cachet and build brand loyalty.
'Throughout the year VIP accounts receive unique opportunities to attend top sporting events,' the letter continues.
A spokesperson for Paddy Power directed the Daily Mail towards a recent statement from the Betting and Gaming Council —the UK's single industry association for betting and gaming— regarding the industry's treatment of so-called VIPs, saying they had nothing to add.
The Betting and Gaming Council represent more than 90 percent of high street and online bookmakers, as well as casinos.
'A small number of customers, warrant an enhanced service and these customers are in general high-net-worth individuals,' their statement read.