Ladbrokes in Hot Water

Jake Cooper | 04 Jul 2017

Ladbrokes in Hot WaterUK land based and online sportsbetting giant Ladbrokes may have landed themselves in some hot water after information about punters suffering from gambling addiction was found in a bin outside one of the brands Scottish betting shops.

Now, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is considering launching an investigation into the company’s data protection protocols, and find out how the information ended up literally in the street.

According to a local news source, the data was picked up by a passer-by near the Ladbrokes branch in Glasgow. Included in the information were the names, addresses and photos of punters who have opted into the bookmaker’s so-called Moses self-exclusion scheme. This scheme serves to help problem gamblers and allows them to self-restrict their betting activities by imposing a ban on their wagering. Fortunately, although the information was comprehensive, it did not include the punters bank account details or betting histories.

Spotlight on Sensitive Data

Executive director of the UKGC, Tim Miller, has said that the regulatory body will investigate as to why this sensitive data was not disposed of properly, and that customers personal details should never have been compromised in this way. He added that the bookmaker’s customers would have trusted that all their personal information would remain confidential at all times and never be compromised. It should have been properly protected and disposed of in a manner that made it impossible to identify. He said that the UKGC expected all gambling operators to keep well within the data protection laws and regulations and that if there was a breach the operator’s were expected to do everything in their power to mitigate any potential consequences.

Ladbrokes Responds

Ladbrokes has responded to the data leak by saying that they are taking this breach extremely seriously and that they are undertaking a full investigation to determine how the incident occurred. They have also reaffirmed their data policy with all their betting shops and have reminded them of the correct manner in which to dispose of data.

The chief executive of GambleAware, Marc Etches, has hit out at Ladbrokes and has said that he hopes that this data leak won’t prevent other gamblers with problems from seeking help, and that those who are interested in self-exclusion methods should still opt in if needs be. These methods have proven to be very effective in the past, with 83% of punters who have made use of them finding them to be wholly successful. Etches is concerned that this kind of data leak may prevent others from seeking help and urges them to do so regardless, as this type of issue is few and far between.

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