UKGC Takes Tough Action On Sky Bet Violations

Published Thursday, March 29, 2018 -
UKGC Takes Tough Action On Sky Bet Violations

The times are changing for the online gambling industry in the United Kingdom and that means the regulators are getting tough on violations of the laws. A recent revelation that online gambling company Sky Bet has been judged to have allowed hundreds of self-excluded gamblers to continue gambling, while apparently sending promotional texts, emails and push notifications to about 50,000 more punters is a serious violation of the rules.

Sky Bet has received a £1 million ($1.4 million) fine from the UK Gambling Commission for the transgression. Sky Bet chief executive officer Richard Flint apologized to the BBC recently for the mistakes that led to thousands of self-excluded gamblers receiving promotional material urging them to make wagers.

The hefty fine comes not long after Flint urged the gambling industry to pay attention to its “image problem.” The executive wants the industry to promote safer gambling through the advancement of self-help tools and increased intervention.

Flint told an audience at the International Casino Exhibition in February that, “The industry must first recognise it has an issue,” adding, “And I don’t just mean a PR or reputational issue. I mean a genuine, evidence-based subject that it must play its part in addressing.” Sky Bet reported the failure to the gambling regulator itself and fully cooperated with the entire investigation mitigating a much larger fine.

Flint spoke to the BBC this week stating, “In this case, we didn’t make it sufficiently difficult for people to open up duplicate accounts, and for that, we’ve apologised, it’s not good enough. We could and should have done more,” adding, “It is embarrassing for us.”

“We at that time didn’t have appropriate processes in place to check that there wasn’t already an existing account that was a duplicate and was self-excluded,”

Gambling Commission programme director, Richard Watson said, “Protecting consumers from gambling-related harm is a priority for us and where we see operators failing in their responsibility to keep their customers safe we will take tough action.”




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