Sky Betting and Gaming owes a huge fine, but did they really mean they were going to bridge the gap between consumers and paid media in a way that would cause the breach? It might seem so with the $1.2 million they owe for continuing to plague consumers with ads after they said “no.”
Last year, Sky Bet announced they would partner with another company to bridge the gap between customers and paid media, but the recent fine seems they have taken the idea of popping up ads too far. The UK based Sky Betting and Gaming bombarded customers with gambling promotions, even after their customers said they did not want to see these promotions. The fine the company is paying will go to socially responsible charities. Of the top five or several other charities out there, it is unclear as to which one will receive the money or if numerous UK charities will get a piece of the fine.
The Back Story
About 50,000 Sky Bet players walked away from gambling. They asked to have their names removed from marketing material like paid media ads, promotions, and more. The UK Gambling Commission made the statement about the players and said, these customers still received text message advertisements, push notifications, or emails despite responding with “no.”
Another 736 players selected “self-excluded” to stop their accounts, but they were able to re-open the accounts or create a duplicate account according to the UK Commission for gambling.
About 37,000 who walked away from Sky Bet were unable to get their balances refunded, even when the account was closed. The law states any balance must be returned to the customer.
Sky Bet’s statement said they are working to try to fix the errors and would return the funds when warranted. The balances reported by the players closing their accounts is higher than 4 pounds.
Lately, the UK has kept a closer eye on gambling, especially, in the online arena. Any issue that breaks the law can be fined and has happened more lately. Richard Watson, who is the director for UK Gambling Commission, says there is a failure if customers are vulnerable and the $1.2 million fine should be seen as a warning to other companies.
Sky Betting and Gaming is cooperating with the investigation. The CEO, Richard Flint, says they have always been severe about responsible gaming and protection of their players, but the incident shows they need to do more.