Sports gambling has become one of the biggest markets in the UK and the world, with betting firms and the government all chasing after a piece of the action.
The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Government has approved the launch of a new anti-gambling project to go to the country’s major gambling venues.
Officials say the scheme, which will give betting companies access to betting market data to help them detect betting fraud, will be in place for the entire financial year of 2018.
In a separate move, the UK’s five largest betting firms Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, William Hill and William Hill Online will also be given access to the data to help them combat fraud.
The government has already committed to spending an extra 200m to make sure all gambling is subject to rigorous data protection checks, including a system that will allow data to be shared between agencies in a bid to thwart cyber-crimes.
But the new data access scheme for betting companies is the first of its kind in the world. A government spokesperson said: “We want to do everything we can to protect UK users of online gambling, and we want to be clear how that protection works. “This will mean that all UK online gambling firms must be licensed by us, comply with strict data protection rules and have robust reporting and enforcement systems to ensure we have robust and effective laws in place.” The new data protection measures will also mean that companies that allow gambling operators access to their customer information will be forced to reveal to the Gambling Commission how this is used. The data protection legislation, if passed in its current form, would require a company to notify the Gambling Commission of any data breach that compromises customer information. The Gambling Commission will then investigate the breach to determine if the breach is likely to have involved a serious security breach. It will then decide whether or not to inform the affected party of the breach, and what information was compromised. This means the Gambling Commission will now be able to ask companies for details about how their customers’ data has been used.
This is a great step forward, but what does it mean for a player if his or her data is disclosed? It has been stated by both politicians and the Gambling Commission that players have no reasonable expectation of privacy. This is simply not true, with a game like online gambling, one can find all sorts of information about someone that could put them in a bad light.
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