Online betting firm may face legal action over offers to recovering addicts

Sky Vegas apologised last week after promotional emails were mistakenly sent to those who had opted out of gambling correspondence.
Online betting firm may face legal action over offers to recovering addicts

By Eleanor Barlow, PA

Legal action could be taken in the UK against online casino Sky Vegas after promotional emails were sent to recovering gambling addicts, a law firm has said.

Sky Vegas apologised last week after promotional emails were mistakenly sent to those who had opted out of betting correspondence.

Law firm PGMBM said it is exploring the possibility of bringing legal proceedings on behalf of up to 120,000 people who are believed to have been sent the promotional emails offering “free online spins” despite asking not to receive betting correspondence.

The company, which specialises in data breaches, urged people who were affected to get in touch through website www.skybetclaimlawyers.com.

 

Specialist data breach lawyer and PGMBM legal director Tony Winterburn said: “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.”

Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of Clean Up Gambling, was among the recovering gambling addicts who received the offers.

He said: “There is already too much temptation driven by the volume of advertising, so, when someone takes steps to keep themselves away from promotions like this, they should not be force-fed to them again.

“It is inexcusable of Sky Bet and we would encourage anyone who has been sent these emails to alert the relevant authorities and seek out the support they need.”

PGMBM also called for the full scale of the error to be revealed.

Mr Winterburn said: “Quite simply, providers such as Sky must do more to protect vulnerable customers.

“In the meantime, and in regard to this incident specifically, it is important that Sky are transparent and disclose how many people were sent the promotional material and the reasons for it.

“The family members of those with gambling-associated issues will be sat at home quite rightly worried if their loved one has been sent this offer despite having done everything they can to try to stay away from these kinds of triggers.”

Conor Grant, chief executive of Flutter UK&I, which owns Sky Vegas, said: “I would like to sincerely apologise to all those who have been affected by the recent issue at Sky Vegas, whereby a number of people were mistakenly sent promotional communications.

“I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom of how this happened. We are conducting a full investigation into what went wrong, in particular so that we can ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

“As soon as the error was identified it was notified to the [UK's] Gambling Commission and we will keep them informed as our investigations progress.

“Sky Vegas, and indeed all our brands, take their responsibility to protect customers extremely seriously.

“Safer gambling is our number one focus and, while we haven’t always got everything right, we are determined to do as much as we can to protect those who may be at risk.

“I recognise that on this occasion we have let many people down, and for that I am truly sorry.”

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