Ladbrokes in Hot Water After Gambler Data Picked Up on the Street
The UK Gambling Commission plans to look into the casino giant’s data protection measures as a Glasgow incident leaves one troubled player’s personal information exposed.
Personal information of a Ladbrokes client was found in a bin bag outside a Glasgow Ladbrokes shop, ushering in a stream of concerns from the UK gambling regulatory body over a potential violation of data protection laws. The customers had signed up for self-exclusion to battle problem gambling, meaning the documents found contained sensitive personal information.
The UKGC takes the issue very seriously and plans to investigate the matter since data protection is one of the tenets of obtaining and holding a valid UK gambling licence. The operator could face penalties if violation claims are upheld.
We expect gambling operators to adhere to all data protection laws or regulations, which are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). In an instance where personal data has been breached, we would expect operators to do whatever they can to mitigate any harm caused. – Tim Miller, UKGC Executive Director
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the enforcement body of the UKGC, which concerns itself with the gambling industry’s adherence to data protection laws. It provides guidelines to determine whether a security violation should be reported. Main factors to consider is the potential negative effect on the invidual(s) concerned, how much data was affected, and how sensitive the data was. A way to reports potentially harmful incidents is further specified on the dedicated UKGC page.
Ladbrokes confirmed that it urges all shops to properly dispose of sensitive data but declined to comment on how customer’s self-exclusion data ended up in a garbage bag on the street. Furthermore, the company launched an internal investigation to clarify the events leading up to this, as per an unnamed spokesperson.
The Ladbrokes company-wide policy guidelines prescribe that customer data ought to be collected and disposed of securely. Self-exclusion plans, called Moses, are carried out in cooperation with a responsible gambling organisation Senet Group. As stated on the Moses website, the company assures that sensitive information is “kept confidential and only shared with the participating bookmakers, their group companies and the central team administrators.”