Sensitive Player Data Found in Bin Bag In Front of Ladbrokes Branch Causes outrage

Ladbrokes Problem Gamblers Data Found in Bin Bag

Ladbrokes is in a position where it could face a serious investigation by the gambling regulator. The incident at hand is about a set of confidential data regarding gambling addicts, and this includes names, addresses, and pictures. This information was in a bin bag right on the streets. The UK Gambling Commission stated that it is looking more into the compliance of the company regarding data protection following the incident. A passer-by found documents with these sensitive data outside of a Ladbrokes branch in Glasgow. The data that was in the big bag included the personal information of the customers who signed up to become a part of the self-exclusion scheme, which is called Moses. The program allows players with a gambling problem to ban themselves from being able to place bets, voluntarily. The bookmakers have this data about the customer who are a part of the Moses system so the staff at the shops can easily identify the clients that they should not allow to place any stakes at the gambling shops.

Although the information that the bookmakers keep include addresses, photos, and names as well as other information regarding the reason for their sign up into the Moses program, it did not contain any information about their gambling history or bank accounts. The Gambling Commission of the UK is currently looking into the reason behind the disposition of this sensitive data in a way that did not ensure the protection of the personal data of the customers of Ladbrokes. Tim Miller, the Executive Director of the Gambling Commission, stated that the customers trust that all of their data and personal information will be collected and protected with care. He added that they expect that all gaming operators should adhere to the regulations and the protection laws of data. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s office) is the entity responsible for enforcing them. He also stated that whenever a breach happens which reveals personal information in a case like this, they expect that the gambling operator will do whatever it takes to mitigate any of the harm resulting from such violation.

Ladbrokes Comments on the Incident

Usually, Ladbrokes collects its data from the stores; then it disposes of this information security through a procedure that is company-wide. A statement on the Moses Website stated that the personal information of the player are confidential, and they only share it with the bookmakers that are a part of the program, as well as the central team administrators of the group’s companies. Although this statement assures players, it is still not known how the information ended up being on the street in the bin bag, but Ladbrokes stated that they are approaching this matter with extreme seriousness, and they are launching a full-scale investigation to figure what happened. Ladbrokes also wrote to all of their betting shops to remind them that they need to dispose of the sensitive data of their gamblers in the correct way.

Marc Etches, who is the Chief Executive of the Charity gambling organization, Gamble Aware, stated that they hope that the situation does not result in deterring people away from the self-exclusion program. According to research that Gamble Aware published last March, the scheme is quite useful, as 83 percent of the people who participated in it said that it was beneficial. On the other hand, the organization always recommends seeking professional treatment in addition to the self-exclusion measures.  He also added that self-exclusion is always the last resort for the players who have a gambling addiction, and it is imperative that they identify those who suffer from such problem as early as they can, to prevent any problems from developing.

How does the “Moses” Program Work

Specific gambling operators offer their version of the self-exclusion scheme, but they also participate in Moses, the industry-wide scheme. Four major bookmakers founded this program back in 2014, and the Senet Group manages it, which is a responsible-gambling entity. The gamblers who participate in Moses and other self-exclusion programs can prevent themselves from placing any bets for one year. During that period, they cannot reverse their decision under any circumstances.  After that year ends, it will automatically renew the self-exclusion for six months unless the client requests it not to renew.

Why is Self-Exclusion Important?

The importance of self-exclusion is evident from the next piece of news that we have, which is regarding a gambling addict who smashed up the screens of gaming machines in a William Hill shop in Liverpool. The person in the middle of this event is the 29-years old Eric Baptista. He stated in court that he lost too much money on these machines and this is why he decided to destroy the screen and the gaming machines, which shows the importance of self-exclusion. Eric Baptista received twelve-month suspended jail time after he admitted all seven counts of the criminal damage charges that he was facing.

The judge in the Liverpool court ordered the defendant not to get close to a betting shop that belongs to William Hill for five years. He also had to do a total of 150 hours of community work without pay.  The CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), stated that Baptista from Seacole Close, smashed the TV screen and machines using a hammer in South Liverpool. He also smeared the screens in the William Hill shop with paint; he also used his mobile to film some of these attacks that took place throughout three weeks in May.

Baptista stated to the police that he committed these offenses because he was suffering from a gambling addiction and the player lost a lot of money in the betting shops of the William Hill chain and that he was angry because the staff working at those stores did not have the proper training to deal with the gambling addicts. The CPS stated that the staff in the wagering shops that what happened is a protest, and the fact is, that there is not a safety net for the customers and the problem gamblers.  The advocate of the Crown Mike Stephenson, who was the prosecutor in the case stated that Baptista said that since the incident, he has been attending counseling for the gambling addiction, and resulting from that, he hasn’t been going to betting shops. He also started a forum that showcases and campaigns the problems that the problem gamblers face. This incident shows the importance of self-exclusion programs, as well as the importance of counseling to problem gamblers.

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