The Gambling Commission has hit PPB Counterparty Services Limited, trading as Paddy Power and Betfair, with a £490,000 fine for sending promotional push notifications to devices linked to customers who had self-excluded.
In November 2021, in an issue relating to Paddy Power customers, the company's app sent an offer of enhanced odds for the Premier League football match between Spurs and Leeds United to devices that were either linked to accounts registered with the online self-exclusion service Gamstop or which had self-excluded with the operator.
The commission said that action had breached the regulator's rules requiring gambling businesses to take all reasonable steps to prevent any marketing material being sent to a self-excluded customer.
The operator was also supposed to have taken steps to remove the name and details of individuals from any marketing databases within two days of receiving a completed self-exclusion notification.
Gambling Commission executive director of operations Kay Roberts 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."
Flutter's chief executive for the UK and Ireland Ian Brown apologised for the mistake.
He added: "The push notification in question was sent in error and, once discovered by our team, we took immediate steps to rectify the issue and proactively notified the Gambling Commission.
"We know that neither Paddy Power nor the regulator received any complaints about 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."
In March last year, Sky Bet, which is part of Flutter Entertainment along with Paddy Power and Betfair, had to pay a £1.17m fine for sending promotional emails to customers who had self-excluded or opted out of receiving marketing, a blunder which also happened in November 2021.
On Tuesday the Gambling Commission announced that online casino software provider SkillOnNet, which runs 50 websites, had been ordered to pay a £305,150 regulatory settlement after an investigation revealed social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.
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