Sky Bet Fined £1m by UK Gambling Commission

Sky Bet Fined £1m by UK Gambling CommissionThe UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has just handed Sky Bet a £1 million fine for a number of failures in the company’s self-exclusion procedures which resulted in 736 self-excluded patrons being able to open duplicate accounts and gamble on the site.
In addition, roughly 50,000 customers continued to receive promotional marketing material after being self-excluded, while a further 36,748 customers failed to have their money returned to them after being self-excluded from Sky Bet.
Serious Failure
UKGC programme director Richard Watson thanked Sky Bet for reporting the issues quickly once discovered, and for cooperating fully with with the ensuing investigation. Nevertheless, the case was described as a “serious failure” that justified a strong response from the regulator.
“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,” explained Watson.
Improving Processes
Meanwhile, Sky Bet chief executive Richard Flint offered his apologies for the mistakes made by the firm, and said that he would do its best to make sure such instances do not occur again,with measures now including having a team of 60 people tasked with monitoring players for unusual behavior. Furthermore, Sky Bet has already started returning outstanding account balances to self-excluded customers “wherever possible and practical”, and has also launched a media campaign explaining to customers how they can set control in order to limit their own gambling activities.
“We aim to further improve through collaboration across the industry, with the Gambling Commission, and with relevant experts on responsible gambling,” said Flint.
Previous Industry Fines
The UKGC has handed out a number of huge fines over the years, with Sky Bet becoming just the fifth company to receive a six figure penalty, behind 888 (£7.8m), William Hill (£6.2m), Camelot (£3m), and Ladbrokes Coral (£2.3m).
Other operators receiving smaller, but still significant penalties include Gala-Coral (£846k), Betfred (£800k), GVC Holdings (£350k), BGO (£300k), Paddy Power (£280k), Futgalaxy (£265k), and Stan James Online (£80k).
Making iGambling More Risk-Free
The UK has one of the most progressive and lucrative online gambling industries in the world, and in 2017 generated profits of £4.7 billion, up by 10% from the previous year. Around 9 million people placed online bets in 2017, with public participation having now increased from 15.5% in 2014 to last year’s figure of 18.3%. In order to ensure customers stay well-protected in such a rapidly expanding environment, this week, the UKGC published its much anticipated review of the country’s online gambling market, and laid out a range of recommendations. As Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, commented:
“Britain has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world and we are continually looking for ways to make it even fairer and safer for consumers”.
Amongst the slew of changes proposed by the UKGC is the banning of free-to-play demo games until a customer’s age has been confirmed, improving age verification processes, and limits being applied to consumer accounts until affordability checks have been carried out.
In addition, measures have been proposed to address unacceptable marketing and advertising practices, and to improve a gambling company’s complaint procedures while also requiring staff to be better trained in identifying those players at risk of becoming problem gamblers.
This month, the UKGC also provided its recommendation for the country’s lucrative fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) industry, proposing that stakes should be brought down from £100 to £30 for non slots games such as roulette, and to as low as £2 for slots based games. Finally, the UKGC is currently considering curbing or even prohibiting the use of credit cards for gamblers so as to reduce the risk of consumers gambling beyond their means.

Poker News
Mississippi Casinos Post Record Revenue in April as Sports Betting Beckons
04 Jun 2018
Mississippi’s casinos generated gross gaming revenue of $184 million in April, or 5% more compared to the same month in 2017. Furthermore, that total represents an all-time high for the state, and is 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2007 when thousands of volunteers entered Mississippi to assist in cleanup efforts post-Hurricane Katrina.
Switzerland Prepares For June 10th Legalized iGambling Referendum
04 Jun 2018
On June 10th, Switzerland will hold a national referendum to decide whether the ‘Money Gaming Act’ passed by the Swiss Parliament in September 2017 can be implemented next year in its present form. The piece of legislation paves the way for land-based casinos and local partners to offer legalized online gambling in Switzerland, although a
MGM Resorts International Buys NY's Empire City Casino for $850 Million
02 Jun 2018
Real estate and entertainment conglomerate MGM Resorts International has revealed that it’s embarking on a purchase of Empire City Casino, a slots and pari-mutuel wagering venue located in Yonkers, N.Y., just a few miles north of Manhattan. The deal was announced May 29 in a press release, and is expected to be completed near the
Delaware to Launch Full-Scale Sports Betting on June 5th
02 Jun 2018
Last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the sports betting ban in the country has opened the floodgates for individual states to legalize and regulate sports wagering within their borders. Before its decision was even made, though, a number of states had already put in place the necessary legislation in order to