- Sky Bet sent an email advertising free spins to gamblers on the self-exclusion list.
- The self-exclusion list is a specific opt-out list for advertising.
- Flutter, Sky Bet’s operator, has apologized, and is investigating internally.
LONDON - Sky Bet stands accused of having sent an advertising email to those on the gambling advertisement self-exclusion list, prompting condemnation of the betting giant.
Per The Athletic, the email, from Sky Bet subsidiary Sky Vegas, advertised free spins, and read, in part:
“Simply opt in, spend £5 and claim your 100 free spins. The best part? Whatever you win is yours to keep — that’s the fun in fair!”.
This email would not normally be problematic, but sending it to those who have voluntarily excluded themselves from receiving online gambling advertisements is a big problem.
The self-exclusion lists are a way for those who have gambling problems to avoid potential triggers for their issues, including advertisements like this. This is doubly problematic as self-exclusion lists are a fairly light restriction on the kind of advertising that major gambling companies can do.
If the companies are abusing self-exclusion lists, or not following them, it could create a situation where lawmakers ask what else they could be doing, potentially generating further regulation on online casinos and gambling.
Sky Bet is a partner of the EFL, also known as the Championship, the second tier of English football, just under the Premier League.
The Big Step, a gambling addiction awareness charity focused on the relationship between soccer and gambling, called on the EFL to end its relationship with Sky Bet following the news.
Sky Bet Operator Apologizes
Flutter, the operator of Sky Bet, has issued an apology from the pen of CEO Conor Grant:
“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,” the apology reads. “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 Gambling Commission and we will keep them informed as our investigations progress.”
The apology clarified that the issue was a mistake, and promised action in terms of ensuring nothing of the sort happened again, but lacked specifics as to how that would happen, as an investigation is still ongoing. It continued:
“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.”