It has finally happened and, in part, it is down to you. This website, along with other parties - notably Horseracing Bettors' Forum and Justice4Punters - has been trumpeting the inequity in the bookmaker/bettor relationship for a number of years.
Subjects such as the unfairness of bookmaker terms and conditions (here and here), rule 4 manipulation, and iesnare (here and especially here) have been covered by our writers - and your responses have helped to force today's news that the Competition and Markets Authority is to investigate bookmaker practices.
In the more recent iesnare post on geegeez, published in May of this year, Brian Chappell outlined his experiences and urged readers to check their own machines (the original iesnare post has been read over 57,000 times so many of you have checked your machines!) and, if the unwelcome code was discovered, to contact the Information Commissioners' Office (ICO).
You did that in your scores, and it is at least partially as a result of that concerted lobbying that the CMA has committed to investigate the terms and conditions under which bookmakers operate.
It will not take them long to discover shockingly vague and unfair conditions such as "we automatically collect certain data" and "[we use the information] to meet certain business requirements". Those are from C.oral but they're just an example of the ridiculous bluster, presented as verbose legalese, which has been allowed to perpetuate unchecked in the online gambling space for too long.
There will be, or should be, bookmakers' legal departments scurrying around their bunkers in damage limitation mode this morning, because whatever the collective noun for chickens is... they're coming home to roost, en masse.
I just wanted to pen this quick update, in case you'd missed the story, so that you know that your voices, when delivered in concert, can be heard far beyond these virtual pages. In this case, you've been a significant factor in a movement - driven by HBF and J4P - that has forced our Government to shine a light on how the betting industry operates.
Possible outcomes are no change (unlikely), revised terms and conditions (probable), or even a commitment to lay a bet to a fixed liability (unlikely, but possible).
This will be a story which takes its time to be told, and we'll be sure to update you on it here. For now, thank you for your part in helping to ensure it happened.