Sportspeople Take Legal Action Against Data, Gambling Companies

  • Companies have 28 days to respond
  • The letter was sent by members of “Project Red Card”
  • Companies are selling personal, sometimes inaccurate data without compensating athletes
  • Project Red Card is seeking over £400m ($468.2m) in damages
Liverpool soccer fans
Sportspeople are seeking over £400m ($468.2m) in damages for the sale of personal data. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Time is ticking

Hundreds of sportspeople are ramping up legal action against gambling and data processing companies over their use of player, match, and tracking information, per The Athletic.

continue to use the information at the risk of being subject to additional action

Letters of action were sent to companies, leaving them with 28 days to respond. Companies may enter discussions or continue to use the information at the risk of being subject to additional action. 

Athletes believe that companies have been using their information without permission and compensation.

Data and gambling companies under fire

“Project Red Card” was formed in 2020 with the promise of pursuing legal action against gambling sites, video game developers, and data processing companies. The group is looking to help players recover unpaid income as far as six years back.

The data collected and disseminated by the companies, including cardiovascular thresholds and respiratory patterns, is considered “personal data” and is protected. 

players have been frustrated by the practices of the companies, which they likened to the “wild west”

The voices behind the letters are soccer players in the Premier League, Scottish Premiership, Women’s Super League, English Football League and National League. These players have been frustrated by the practices of the companies, which they likened to the “wild west.”

Players are also frustrated with inaccurate data reporting. Companies have given incorrect characteristics, including height and ethnicity, to buyers. 

Furthermore, the aggrieved parties are frustrated with the sale of performance data. For example, the Premier League and Championship frequently monitor GPS data for players and referees to analyze performance, yet the information is being sold to aid gambling companies without consent or compensation. 

Power to the players

Female soccer and cricket players recently joined male soccer players on the list of resentful parties looking to strike back. There is growing momentum suggesting that rugby players will also join the movement.

seeking over £400m ($468.2m) in damages

In total, there are over 1,400 active and former players backing the project, collectively seeking over £400m ($468.2m) in damages. 

Led by Russell Slade, co-founder of Global Sports Data and Technology Group and a former coach in English soccer, the group wants to return power to the players for their information and likeness.

“It only seems proper that companies making millions share some of this income with the people who create their wealth,” said Slade.

The debate adds to a list of massively important gambling-related problems needing to be sorted out. Last month it was reported that Premier League teams were ready to self-impose a ban on gambling advertisements