Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) is facing legal action following a GDPR breach that saw up to 120,000 people sent promotional emails in early November.
A report published online by industry publication The Racing Post said that up to 120,000 people were sent multiple emails by Sky Vegas, offering them free spins. Concerningly, a significant number of people who received the emails had actively chosen to self-exclude from Sky Bet’s platforms. Every recipient had opted out of gambling correspondence in some manner.
Adding insult to injury for Sky Bet, the incident occurred during the industry’s Safer Gambling Week, when a significant focus is placed on helping bettors realise the signs of addiction and taking steps to self-exclude.
Data breach lawyers call on recipients to come forward
Tony Winterburn, legal director of law firm PGMBM and a specialist data breach lawyer himself, told The Racing Post: “This mistake could cost people their recovery from gambling. These emails have already caused harm and distress to those who opted out of receiving gambling promotions for very good reason.”
“Many of these people took brave and proactive steps, like registering with organisations such as Gamstop, to help themselves change their gambling behaviours.
“For them to have been inadvertently exposed to enticing advertisements is a complete betrayal of consumer trust. Issues like this contextualise why reforms to the Gambling Act are currently under consideration.”
PGMBM is exploring the possibility of launching legal action against those affected and has also requested that SBG provides complete details about the error, so that problem gamblers who may be in danger of relapsing are offered support.
It is not known if SBG reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) or if PGMBM has done so.
Sky Bet apologises while campaigners call for action
Flutter Entertainment, SBG’s parent company, said a full investigation had been launched into how these emails were sent.
Conor Grant, Flutter Entertainment’s UK and Ireland Chief Executive, said: “We have let many people down, and for that I am truly sorry.”
Following the incident, the campaign group The Big Step, which is aiming to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, wrote to the English Football League, calling on the organisation to end its sponsorship deal with Sky Bet.
The Big Step’s letter read: “Football is the nation’s favourite sport, and we should not be naming the English Football League after a company that treats the issue of customer safety with such contempt.”
Have you been affected by the Sky Bet data breach? You could be entitled to compensation
Were you one of the 120,000 people who received an email from Sky Vegas, even though you’d opted out? If so, then you could be entitled to compensation.
Contact LawPlus today to tell us about your experiences and how this data breach affected you, and we’ll conduct a free, no-obligation review of your case and tell you whether we believe you have grounds for a claim.