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Flutter Entertainment must pay a fine of £490,000 to the UK Gambling Commission after a subsidiary contacted self-excluded customers with promo offers.

The failing, which occurred in November 2021, was committed by PPB Counterparty Services Limited, which was trading as Paddy Power and Betfair at the time.

The breach saw the operator’s app send an offer of enhanced odds for bets on a Premier League football match to Apple devices linked to accounts that were registered with UK self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP, as well as accounts that had self-excluded with the licensee.

This action broke Commission rules requiring gambling businesses to take all reasonable steps to prevent any marketing material being sent to self-excluded customers.

Licensed operators are required to remove the name and details of self-excluded players from marketing databases within two days of the self-exclusion being completed.

“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.”
UKGC executive director Kay Roberts

Flutter accepted the breach but initially appealed the penalty to the first-tier tribunal. It then agreed to dispose of the appeal and accept a substitute penalty of £490,000.

The operator contacted the regulator with news of the breach five days after it had occurred. The UKGC confirmed it had received no complaints from customers regarding the matter.

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 would advise all operators to learn from the operator’s failures and ensure their systems are robust enough to always prevent self-excluded customers from being sent promotional material.”

This is the second six-figure enforcement action sanctioned by the UKGC this week after SkillOnNet was ordered to pay £305,150 for social responsibility and AML failures.

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