Over the last year, big names in online bingo have received hefty fines from the UK Gambling Commission following social responsibility failings within their gambling operations. The latest operator to fall foul is Skybet, who also runs the Sky Bingo site.
UK Gambling Commission Rules Broken
The latest gambling site to come under scrutiny is Bonne Terre Limited, SkyBetting and Gaming for you and me. When you read how exactly SkyBet came up short with their social responsibility, you have to wonder how many weaknesses existed.
What we found most unacceptable was that 736 SkyBetting and Gaming players had self-excluded but could create accounts and gamble on those accounts.
SkyBet Marketing Material Sent To Self-Excluded Players
As well as some self-excluded players being able to open duplicate accounts, the Gambling Commission found that over 50,000 players still received marketing material from SkyBet! The self-exclusion tool is there for players who have a problem with their gambling, and we’re sure not used lightly.
After all, admitting you have a problem is quite a big thing. Once done, how irresponsible is SkyBet to send marketing material via email, mobile text or push notifications in a mobile app? The biggest fail around the marketing material was in December 2017, when 46,000 self-excluded customer devices received a push notification.
Refunds Not Forthcoming For Excluded SkyBet Customers
Their failings don’t end there, though. SkyBet also failed to return account balance funds to customers who had self-excluded. In total, 36,748 customers hadn’t been reimbursed.
In total, these accounts held balances of £51,817. SkyBet returned a substantial amount of the money but could not return £24,588 because the account’s registered payment method had expired or the balance was less than £1.
It might seem like a lot of cash sitting in accounts, but further investigation found that no balance exceeded £4.00. SkyBet got off pretty lightly with a fine of £1,008,600. Part of that penalty package is a payment of £750,000 to charities for responsible causes instead of a financial penalty.
Every time we report on one of these fines, we ask who is next.