PPB Counterparty Services Limited, commonly known as Paddy Power and Betfair, must pay a fine of PS490,000 to the UK Gambling Comission (UKGC) for marketing to clients who self-excluded, meaning they recognized they had a problem controlling their gambling and asked that the operator rejects their service.
Accidentally sent a push notification:
Paddy Power Betfair has informed the UK gambling regulator that in November 2021 it had accidentally sent an increase in odds push notification for bets on an English Premier League football match from its app to Apple devices connected to customer accounts that self-excluded through Gamstop. However, the company also said that this was due to human mistake and that they didn’t do it on purpose.
After the investigation, the UKGC decided that PPB had failed to act accordingly to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Social Responsibility Code Provision (SRCP) 3.5.3. and that it violated Commission’s rules which demand gambling companies to take all reasonable steps to avert any marketing material from being sent to a self-excluded client and to take steps to get rid of the name and details of a self-excluded client from any marketing databases within two days of receipt of a completed notice of self-exclusion.
Commenting on the fine, Kay Roberts, Gambling Commission Executive Director of Operations, said: “Although there is no evidence the marketing was intentional, nor that all the people with apps saw the notification or that self-excluded customers were allowed to gamble, we take such breaches seriously. We advise operators to take note of the operator’s mistakes and make sure their systems are robust to prevent self-excluded clients from receiving promotional material. Our team discovered that the push notification was sent by mistake and immediately took steps to correct the problem. We also notified the Gambling Commission. We know that the Gambling Commission and Paddy Power did not receive any complaints regarding the message. We continue to work closely with the Gambling Commission in all areas and we are committed to operating at the highest possible levels of responsibility.”Moreover, it is still unknown how many clients actually saw the notification because in order to see it, they need to have the Paddy Power app installed and push notifications allowed.Acceptance of penalty and admission of fault:
The company recognized its mistake and accepted the penalty. Initially, the company appealed the UKGC decision. The appeal was dropped after the company decided to pay an alternative fine of PS490,000.