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PlayUp found to have taken wagers from excluded customers

Tue, Dec 17, 2:23pm by Ethan Anderson

Australian bookmaker PlayUp was discovered to have allowed customers who had asked to be barred from gambling to place bets.

Casino News Daily reports that the sports betting operator, licensed in the Northern Territory, committed the oversight.

Self-exclusion is listed as one of the rights Australian punters are entitled to under the code of conduct licensed in the Territory.

PlayUp’s chief executive officer Daniel Simic said that up until recently, it was possible for his company to unintentionally service self-excluded gamblers, because the operator held several licenses that were managed as separate businesses and were not allowed to share data about gambling customers with each other.

As of November, these separate operations were combined into a single business.

Mr Simic said that the recent findings about self-excluded gamblers being allowed to place wagers with their brands would not breach their license.

ASX tilt thwarted

PlayUp was originally floated as a sports betting technology provider.

It received backing from a group of wealthy investors, but burnt A$100 million of investors’ money and was put into liquidation in 2016.

In 2017, Mr Simic bought the company’s assets, including the PlayUp brand.

Under its new owners, the company made an unsuccessful attempt to float.

Its flotation effort was cancelled by the ASX, which raised concerns about the bookmaker’s listing suitability.

After Mr Simic took over as chief executive officer of the company, it purchased several other b betting operations, including Classicbet, Bet Bet, Madbookie and TopBetta.

Those were initially run as separate businesses until their consolidation last month.

Mr Simic said that all brands are now operating as one and managed by one team.

PlayUp’s chief operating officer told other company executives, including the CEO that the issue of punters who had self-excluded from gambling with one of their brands continuing to gamble with another needed to be addressed “ASAP”, according to the Guardian Australia report.

Asked to comment on this, Mr Simic explained that it “would have been possible” for bettors to place wagers on one platform while excluded from another, if their personal information on the platforms did not match.

The executive went on to say that they had no way of knowing “who’s who if wrong data has been entered” and that he knew of one incident of a self-excluded customer gambling with another PlayUp-owned brand.

That incident has been settled, Mr Simic pointed out.

Self exclusion has work to do

Self exclusion is a key measure within Australia’s first National Consumer Protection Framework for online sports betting, introduced last month.

Australian Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher proposed the creation of a National Self-Exclusion Register, allowing people to ban themselves from all licensed online sports betting sites and apps “in one go.”

The register forbids sports betting operators from directly advertising and promoting their products and services to customers registered for self-exclusion.

Australia soon to have online self-exclusion gambling register

The Australian government will be putting forward legislation that will allow people to ban themselves from all online gambling sites.

9 News reported last month that the online National Self-Exclusion Register aims to reduce gambling-related harm and is a key measure within the National Consumer Protection Framework.

Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said that as much as possible, government policy should preserve Australians’ ability to enjoy a punt while putting in place sensible and targeted measures to prevent and support gamblers facing significant risks of harm.

Sen Rushton said the proposed register is a voluntary process where an individual can ban themselves from using all interactive wagering services across state boundaries for a period ranging from three months or permanently through one simple process.

“It is a measure that we believe will motivate gamblers to have periods where they do not gamble online at all as a way of changing their behaviour and minimising the risk they face of gambling-related harm,” Senator Rushton said.

Under the register, interactive wagering service providers would be prohibited from directly advertising and promoting to a person registered for self-exclusion.

Upon registration, all funds held in a consumer’s active accounts must be returned to the consumer once all wagers and bets are settled and the account must then be closed.

Once implemented, the Australian Communications and Media Authority would be responsible for the implementation of the register.


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