Sky Betting and Gaming Fined for Self-Exclusion Failings
Bonne Terre Limited, trading as Sky Betting and Gaming, has been hit with a fine of £1.17 million by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) for sending promotional emails to players who had either self-excluded or opted out of receiving marketing emails.
The UKGC carried out an investigation that found that on 2 November 2021, the operator sent out a promotional email for its Sky Vegas brand to 41,395 players who had self-excluded and 249,159 customers who had opted out of email marketing.
This is in breach of the Social Responsibility Code of Practice (SRCP 3.5.3(2)), which states that licensees must do everything possible to prevent self-excluded customers from receiving marketing material.
The operator was also found to have breached SRCP 5.1.11, which states that customers must not receive direct marketing, such as emails, without their informed and specific consent.
As such, the UKGC found that Bonne Terre Limited had breached a licensing condition according to section 82(1) of the Gambling Act 2005. However, the regulator noted that immediate remedial reaction was taken by the operator and that it has cooperated throughout the investigation.
Nonetheless, the Commission has decided to impose a fine of £1.17 million under section 121(1) of the Act.
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.
The fine is one of several to be issued by the UKGC in recent weeks. Last week it fined 888 £9.4 million for social responsibility and money laundering failings, and prior to that, it issued BV Gaming Limited, which operates BetVictor, a fine of £2 million for similar failings.