Data breach specialists PGMBM are supporting customers of Sky Betting & Gaming after the gambling giant admitted to exposing recovering and vulnerable addicts to “free spin” offers.
It is thought that up to 120,000 people – who had explicitly asked Sky Bet and their sister company Sky Vegas not to send them betting correspondence – were sent multiple promotional emails during Safer Gambling week in a catastrophic mistake.
Sky Bet Data Breach
Recovering addicts, who had voluntarily excluded themselves from receiving such material, were sent “enticing” emails from Sky Vegas.
The breach, which included up to six emails offering gamblers “100 free online spins”, was confirmed by self-exclusion organisation Gamstop. Some of Gamstop’s 218,000 registered recovering gamblers reached out to them over their distress after receiving the offers.
Sky Vegas said they were taking the data breach seriously and apologised but have yet to speak directly with customers or reveal how many they had targeted with the emails.
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.”
PGMBM is now asking affected customers to get in touch as it explores the possibility of bringing legal proceedings on their behalf to prevent Sky Vegas from mishandling their data again.
The firm is also requesting that Sky Betting & Gaming share full details about the scale of the error with impacted customers as soon as possible so support can be provided to anyone who may now be struggling with their addiction.
“Many of these people took brave and proactive steps, like registering with organisations such as Gamstop, to help themselves change their gambling behaviours,” Tony said.
“For them to have been inadvertently exposed to enticing advertisements is a complete betrayal of consumer trust.
“Issues like this contextualise why reforms to the Gambling Act are currently under consideration. Quite simply, providers such as Sky Vegas must do more to protect vulnerable customers.
“In the meantime, and in regard to this incident specifically, it is important that Sky Vegas 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.”