Self-exclusion is a tool that’s available at all online gambling sites made available to players who feel they have a problem with their gambling and wish to address this.
When you self exclude, you can no longer gamble at the site (or any others owned by the same operator) and should no longer receive any further marketing material from the operator. You should not be able to open other accounts either; at least that is what is supposed to happen.
At SkyBetting And Gaming, this didn’t happen in several thousand cases and as a result, the company has been fined over £1 million for their social responsibility failures.
The Failings Of SkyBetting And Gaming
The Gambling Commission published the Bonne Terre Limited t/a SkyBetting And Gaming public statement at the end of March [read it here] and also details of where the company had fallen short in their social responsibility and where the weaknesses lay.
These weaknesses in the self-exclusion facilities meant that the following happened:
- 736 self-excluded customers were able to open and use duplicate accounts to gamble
- Around 50,000 self-excluded customers received marketing material by email, mobile text or a push notification within a mobile app
- 36,748 self-excluded customers did not have their account balance funds returned to them on account closure.
The Gambling Commission Comment
The Programme Director from the Gambling Commission is reported to have 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.
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.
Skybet reported the issues to us quickly, cooperated with us and has taken this investigation seriously.