On March 28th, the UK Gambling Commission posted on their official website that Sky Bet received a one-million-pound fine. The regulator penalised Sky Bet for their failure to protect vulnerable customers. The betting company recently announced revenue growth and the busiest-ever Cheltenham. However, just when it seemed things couldn’t go any better for Sky Bet, they received this massive fine.
So what happened?
Well, the gambling operator didn’t have appropriate tools to provide a safe and responsible gaming environment for their customers. According to the UKGC report, 736 Sky Bet customers who self-excluded themselves from the site were nevertheless able to open an account with the operator. Some of these customers were even able to open a new account using the same login credentials they’ve used for opening their profiles the first time around.
Moreover, about 50,000 self-excluded Sky Bet customers received marketing materials through various communication channels, including emails and mobile text messages. In addition, the UKGC found that 36,748 self-excluded customers didn’t get their remaining account balance back once they’ve closed their accounts.
The UKGC programme director, Richard Watson said, “This was a serious failure affecting thousands of potentially vulnerable customers, and the £1m penalty package should serve as a warning to all gambling businesses.”
Sky Betting and Gaming were content with their 2017/18 interim report. The group emphasised in their statement how proud they were for launching their first ever fully integrated safer gambling campaign. It seems the gambling operator will need to improve their campaign further.
However, one the major PayPal casinos and sports betting platforms cooperated with the UKGC. As soon as they noticed the problem, they reported it to the regulator. The UKGC also said that Sky Bet took the investigation seriously.
Today, the Sky Betting and Gaming CEO, Richard Flint gave the official statement about the incident. Flint said, “We could and should have made it harder for self-excluded customers to open duplicate accounts with us and for that we are sorry. We fully agree with the Gambling Commission’s findings and will donate the agreed sum to charities for socially responsible purposes.”