Gambling Commission fines Sky Bet £1.17m for email blunder

Sky Bet
Sky Bet

Sky Bet’s Sky Vegas brand sent promotional emails to self-excluded customers by mistake.

UK.- The British regulator the Gambling Commission has fined Sky Betting & Gaming (Sky Bet) £1.17m for its erroneous email distribution of promotional emails last November. The timing of the incident was particularly unfortunate coming in Safer Gambling Week.

The Gambling Commission had launched an investigation after the incident, in which Sky Bet’s Sky Vegas brand had sent out emails promoting a “Bet £5 get 100 free spins” offer. The emails were sent to 41,395 former customers that had self-excluded from gambling and 249,159 customers who had unsubscribed from marketing emails.

Sky Bet, which is owned by Flutter, apologised and said that the email was sent out by mistake but recognised that it had breached the social responsibility code of practice 3.5.3(2). This part of the code states that “licensees must, as soon as practicable, take all reasonable steps to prevent any marketing material being sent to a self-excluded customer”.

It also breached SRCP 5.1.11, which states that “consumers must not be contacted with direct electronic marketing without their informed and specific consent”.

Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes said: “Self-excluded customers are likely to be suffering gambling harm and should absolutely not be sent direct marketing that could tempt them back into gambling.

“We would advise all operators to learn from Sky Betting and Gaming’s costly errors and ensure their systems are robust enough to always prevent the self-excluded, and those who have clearly rejected marketing, from receiving promotional material.

“This latest fine would have been a lot higher had Sky Betting and Gaming allowed any of the self-excluded customers to actually gamble, failed to cooperate, and not taken decisive action aimed at preventing a repeat.”

It had been suggested that Sky Bet could face legal action over the mistake.

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