• Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

Paddy Power Betfair fined $600K for Illegal Sportsbook Promotion

Posting date: May 26, 20,23, 07h12h

Last updated: May 26, 2023 at 11:14h
The UK Gambling Commission is currently collecting another large fine, this time from a gaming company. The regulator fined Paddy Power Betfair (the Flutter-owned firm operating under the PPB Counterparty Services Limited name) PS490,000 ($603,000), for sending notifications to excluded customers. Flutter’s company will have to pay $600K in fines to the UK. (Image: Alamy)

Following a recent inquiry, the commission came across evidence that in November 2021, the Paddy Power mobile app extended an array of promotional prospects for English Premier League matches. The UKGC issued a fine of £10,000 because it is not clear how many people received these messages. However, the UKGC likely assessed a high number to justify the large amount. Flutter has already responded to the complaint and accepted responsibility.

A Paddy Power sign outside a betting shop
No Harm, Big Foul

The company’s failure to honor its social responsibility requirements has been identified as a violation by the UKGC, making it a breach of its legal status. Gambling companies are required by the Gambling Act to take appropriate measures in order to not contact customers who have opted out. Flutter is also one of the first gaming companies to implement its own social responsibility guidelines.

In accordance with UKGC guidelines, upon receiving a completed opt-out list, all customer databases are supposed to erase any trace of the customer’s name and contact information. Operators must comply with the UKGC guidelines within two days after receiving the opt-out list. In addition, the regulator acknowledged that it’s likely many users didn’t even see the messages.

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There’s also no indication that anyone lodged a complaint with the UKGC about the notifications. The regulator believed that a fine in excess of $600K would be justified. It will miss last year’s PS218.21 (US$269.53million) haul if it continues at this pace. It has, however, collected more than the $48.6 million it collected a year earlier.

Could Have Been Worse

GAMSTOP is a voluntary program that allows consumers to control their gambling activity. The program allows users to register on a website or mobile app and exclude themselves from UK gaming platforms. All operators must monitor this list. Similar programs include MOSES, SENSE, and BACTA.

Flutter is no stranger to the UKGC’s wrath, and has had to pay multiple fines. Sky Bet, the UKGC’s gambling arm, was fined PS1.17m (US$1.44m) last year for sending notifications to self-excluded users via GAMSTOP or other apps. In 2018, Sky Bet was fined PS1 million ($1.23 million) for allowing excluded consumers to open an account. In the same year, Paddy Power Betfair was fined PS2.2 million (US$2.71million). In its statement about the regulatory action, the commission explains that Flutter had previously announced an intention to appeal the decision.

Following discussions between the two, the company agreed to a “substitute financial penalty.” This substitute figure would presumably be lower than the original amount.

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