- Passerby found ‘sensitive’ gambler information outside a branch of Ladbrokes in Glasgow
- UKGC could potentially investigate the bookmaker over the incident
It has been reported by the Guardian that bookmakers and online casino operator, Ladbrokes could face an investigation into an incident that saw confidential customer information found outside one of its shops in Glasgow.
The UK’s Gambling Commission is reportedly looking into Ladbrokes’ compliance with the relevant data protection laws after a passerby discovered the private documents found in trash bags outside a Ladbrokes betting shop in Glasgow, Scotland.
Sensitive customer information
The information is alleged to have been related to potential problem gamblers signed up to be part of Moses, an industry-run “multi-operator self-exclusion scheme”. This scheme enables affected problem gamblers to restrict themselves from betting voluntarily.
Under Moses, bettors who are concerned about their habits are able to “voluntarily self-exclude for a year,” representing a decision that is prohibited from being withdrawn for the whole year. Operators such as Ladbrokes have hold of this confidential data to allow branch employees to identify who should, and should not, be permitted to bet in its shops.
Protection of personal data
Tim Miller, executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, said, “Customers trust that their personal data will be collected carefully and then protected properly.”
“We expect gambling operators to adhere to all data protection laws or regulations, which are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In an instance where personal data has been breached, we would expect operators to do whatever they can to mitigate any harm caused.”
Tim Miller, executive director of the UK Gambling Commission
According to the Guardian’s report, a “company-wide procedure” is the typical way for Ladbrokes to collect and securely dispose of confidential information of this manner.
Indeed, a paragraph published on the official Moses website reads, “Your personal details are kept confidential and only shared with the participating bookmakers, their group companies, and the central team administrators.”
At this point Ladbrokes has declined to comment on how the incident occurred, with a spokesperson for the company saying: “We are taking this extremely seriously and [are] undertaking a full investigation.”
It is reported that the organisation has communicated with all its branches to remind staff to dispose of sensitive information correctly.
A deterrent for problem gamblers?
Marc Etches, GambleAware’s chief executive, has spoken about the impact that this incident could have on the Moses scheme and the trust of all those using it. “Self-exclusion is often a last resort for those already suffering from a gambling addiction and it’s important we identify those who are at risk as early as possible and prevent problems developing,” he said. “We really hope this situation does not put anyone off using self-exclusion.”
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