Sky Vegas, an international online gaming conglomerate that uses a Malta-based company for its technical support and data on its customers, has been fined €1.5 million (£1.2 million) by the UK’s gaming regulator for serious ethical breaches.
The fine is related to ‘free casino spins’ to recovering addicts of the gaming industry. To make matters worse, the ‘free’ playing opportunity was offered to thousands of the company’s customers during a ‘Safer Gambling Week’ organised by the gaming provider.
The fine for Sky Vegas – a member of the Sky Betting & Gaming group – was decided by the UK regulator after the company sent a promotional offer of ‘Bet £5 get 100 spins’ to more than 41,000 customers who had voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling in an effort to stop.
A further 249,159 customers who had unsubscribed from the operator’s marketing emails also received the promotion.
The UK’s Gambling Commission said that self-excluded customers are likely to be suffering gambling harm and should absolutely not be sent direct marketing that could tempt them back into gambling.
Sky Vegas uses a Maltese company, SB Tech Malta Limited that was registered in 2015, to offer its technical and support services, including player data, for its operations in the German market.
The Maltese company is owned by another company registered in the Isle of Man with Dutchman Robertus Cornelis Van Uijen, a resident in Mellieha, as its sole director.
In 2017, the mother company of Sky Vegas, Sky Betting and Gaming, applied for a Maltese licence, with Joseph Cuschieri, then MGA CEO, issuing a statement describing the decision as “testimony of Malta’s reputation and leadership in the gaming industry”.