August 17, 2022 3 min read


Clean Up Gambling Files a Complaint to ICO Over Sky Bet’s Data Processing

Clean Up Gambling, has submitted a formal complaint to UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office over Sky Bet’s activities. In the complaint, Clean Up Gambling urged ICO to investigate how Sky Bet processes data from its customers. 

Sky Bet Is Reportedly Using the Data to Profile Gambling Addicts 

The Financial Times has reported that ICO has received the complaint, which states that Sky Bet is using the data to profile gambling addicts. 

This complaint is the result of an investigation by the organization earlier this year, whose report showed that data subjects weren’t aware of how their data was being processed by the operator. 

While the investigation was commissioned by Clean Up Gambling, it was carried out by Creative Labs and it found out that with 37 visits to its website, Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) sent the data to 44 digital surveillance companies in 2,154 transmissions.

A vast majority of these transmissions were received by Facebook. Google, Signal and Adobe. Back then, Matt Zarb-Cousin, the director of Clean Up Gambling, stated that data should be used to protect customers, not to exploit them. 

In the complaint, it is alleged that Sky Bet is using invasive processing operations which are underpinned as “widespread illegality.” The processes include recording what users do on Sky Bet’s platform, storing such data, using the email addresses of users to further determine activity information and transmitting this type of data to third parties. 

Moreover, Clean Up Gambling states that Sky Bet does not provide its customers with enough information as to how customers’ data is used in order for them to give consent. The data is also stored indefinitely.

Finally, the non-profit organization alleges that Sky Bet’s information on cookies is in violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003’s regulation 6. The reason why is that there’s not enough information on the cookies and users are given just one box – “accept.” 

Sky Bet’s Operations Are a Bit Shady This Year 

Flutter Entertainment, Sky Bet’s parent company, responded to the complaint via the Financial Times. The company noted that it created profiles but it doesn’t have access to the wider financial data of its clients. It added that the third-party entities were used for sponsored content on social media but it was ensured that vulnerable customers are not exposed to the ads. 

This is not the first time that Sky Bet is caught in a feud by UK authorities. Back in March, the UK Gambling Commission issued a £1.17 million ($1.41 million) fine to the operator over self-exclusion breaches.

On November 2, 2020, Sky Bet had a “Bet £5 get 100 free spins” promotion for Sky Vegas. This promotional offer was distributed to 41,395 self-excluded players and 249,159 that opted out of receiving marketing emails. 

The UKGC noted that Sky Bet breached the Social Responsibility Code of Practice (SRCP 3.5.3(2) and SRCP 5.1.11) and hence, it was left with no other option but to fine the operator.

Filip Mishevski has been covering online gambling and cryptocurrencies for the past few years. He has written countless articles, how-to-guides, insights and news, and is keen on sharing his extensive knowledge in the aforementioned fields. He’s very passionate about soccer and MMA and is interested in how the online gambling industry will shape our future and thus, influence our lives.

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