Self-Exclusion Slip Costs Sky Bet £1 Million

Sky Bet has become the latest UK operator to feel the force of the Gambling Commission and its current drive to increase social responsibility standards across the board.

SkyBet

Sky Bet has been hit with a £1 million fine for failing its most vulnerable customers. (Image: campaignlive.co.uk)

In a notice published on March 28, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) explained that weaknesses in Sky Bet’s self-exclusion facilities had resulted in multiple failures.

According to the regulatory body’s findings, 736 self-excluded players were able to create duplicate accounts and make bets.

Multiple Failures Lead to Big Money Fine

Additionally, 50,000 players who had asked to be blocked from the site were still sent marketing material, while 36,748 customers didn’t have their balances refunded after closing their accounts.

For these infractions, the UKGC has hit Sky Bet with a £1 million fine in order to make it an example to other operators that such issues won’t be tolerated.

“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,” UKGC Program Director Richard Watson said in the UKGC’s official press statement.

This isn’t the first time the UKGC has taken a hard-line stance against operators that have failed to protect vulnerable customers. A similar case arose in 2017 when 888 was forced to pay a compensation package totalling £7.8 million.

Following reported vulnerabilities in the operator’s self-exclusion system, an investigation revealed that over 7,000 players were able to create accounts on 888’s network. Despite blocking themselves from one or more of the company’s betting sites, a glitch meant they could create new accounts at sister platforms and, therefore, access the same games.

UKGC Committed to iGaming Safety

Just days before the UKGC announced the result of its investigation against Sky Bet, the regulator outlined a set of new safety proposals. Although they won’t be brought into law until a review of their viability has taken place, they did give an indication of how things will change in the coming months.

Alongside a proposal to make age checks compulsory for free-play casino games, the UKGC is considering a ban on credit card payments. With an estimated 10 to 20 percent of all online betting deposits in the UK involving credit cards, the UKGC wants to stamp out what is effectively a loan to gamble with.

“It’s hard to envisage why consumers would choose to pay in that way, unless it was to gamble with money not otherwise available to them,” reads the UKGC report.

Banning credit card deposits would be just one of five main measures introduced to help protect players across the industry.

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