Sky Bet Accused of Practicing “Widespread Illegality” by Anti-Gambling Group

  • Clean Up Gambling is a gambling harm charity
  • Per the report, many of Sky Bet’s visitors were unaware of how their information was being used
  • Sky Bet is accused of keeping customer profiles used to entice visitors to come back
  • There appear to be multiple data processing companies involved, though the leader is unknown
Sky Bet logo on a smartphone
Sky Bet is accused of mishandling customer information by a gambling harm charity. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Clean Up Gambling 

Campaign group Clean Up Gambling submitted a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over customer data tracking at Sky Bet.

alleged “invasive processing operations” in retrieving data

The complaint alleged “invasive processing operations” in retrieving data from anonymous visitors and members. Clean Up Gambling also said that the collection processes involve “widespread illegality.”

According to iGaming Business, the ICO is still in the early stages of evaluating the filing. The ICO also did not reveal if its current assessment is based on standard procedure, or if they have found evidence to support the campaign’s claim.

Accusations against Sky Bet

Clean Up Gambling’s complaint came in a report commissioned earlier this year. According to the group, many of Sky Bet’s visitors were unaware of how their data was being tracked and used. 

After hearing the responses, Clean Up Gambling requested a full investigation of Sky Bet and its third-party data processors. 

Sky Bet is accused of recording and relaying visitors’ activity on the website and using their email addresses to obtain additional browsing information.  It is also suspected of creating profiles with their customers’ information on their preferred method of interaction and ways to lure them back to Sky Bet’s site.

several specific cases of what they deem to be harmful activity 

The complaint also highlights several specific cases of what they deem to be harmful activity. 

Furthermore, Clean Up Gambling said that the consent given from customers to Sky Bet does not hold up. Per the complaint, Sky Bet does not give enough information to its patrons for them to properly provide informed consent.

A lengthy history

The issues detailed in Clean Up Gambling’s letter appear to be longstanding rather than recent. According to the letter, Sky Bet has recorded every customer interaction on its platform for at least ten years.

Sky Bet is also under fire for insufficient information about cookies, which could violate regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. Visitors are only shown an “accept” box after notice of cookies is provided.

there are many companies involved, and several are not registered with the ICO

Clean Up Gambling concluded by saying it is unclear which processor is the main culprit in Sky Bet’s alleged misconduct. However, they did state that there are many companies involved, and several are not registered with the ICO.

Clean Up Gambling is led by Matt Zarb-Cousin, a 32-year-old who also co-founded anti-gambling software company Gamban. He previously worked as a spokesperson for a British politician who served as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party from 2015-20.

Sky Bet was already fined £1.17m ($1.41m) for sending promotional emails to self-excluded individuals earlier this year.