Who: Bonne Terre (trading as Sky Betting and Gaming) and the Gambling Commission
Where: United Kingdom
When: 9 March 2022
Law stated as at: 30 March 2022
On 2 November 2021, Bonne Terre Limited (trading as Sky Betting and Gaming) sent out a promotional offer of “Bet £5 get 100 free spins” to 41,395 self-excluded customers and 249,159 customers who had unsubscribed from Bonne Terre’s marketing emails.
Self-exclusion is a facility that consumers can use to request that gambling operators refuse their service. Self-excluded customers are therefore those who are likely to be suffering from gambling harm and as a result should not be sent direct marketing which has the potential to tempt them back into gambling.
Following this, on 9 March 2022, the Gambling Commission issued Bonne Terre Limited with a £1.17m fine because its actions breached licence conditions that are intended to ensure gambling in the UK is socially responsible. Bonne Terre Limited’s failure to comply with the social responsibility code of practice meant that it was in breach of section 82(1) of the Gambling Act 2005.
The Gambling Commission notes that Bonne Terre’s fine would have been considerably higher had it allowed any of its self-excluded customers to actually gamble and had it not taken action to prevent the situation being repeated.
Why this matters:
Gambling businesses should learn from Bonne Terre’s costly mistake and ensure that their systems are robust and effective so as to ensure that self-excluded customers, and those that have opted out of direct marketing promotions, do not receive advertising material.
Gambling businesses should also ensure that they are well versed on the social responsibility code to reduce the risk of breaching it. This will ensure they do not receive reputational damage or financial penalties as a result of being socially irresponsible.