Iovation was closely associated with the fraud committed at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet
Iovation was closely associated with the fraud committed at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet

An awful story. At the very least Sky Bet should sack the staff member(s) responsible for perpetrating this:

Michael, not his real name, lost £46,000 to Sky Bet in less than a decade, including £11,000 during a nine-month binge. 

Sky Bet allowed him to reopen an account even after telling him he wouldn’t be able to and failed to act despite a series of red flags.

Michael was also one of 120,000 Sky Bet customers who fell victim to a data breach last year, in which recovering addicts received promotional emails…

When he stopped in 2018, he was £80,000 in debt. He said: ‘It got to a point where if I didn’t stop, it was going to kill me. I had suicidal ideation. I feel violated. I should have been protected.’

Suicidal gambling addict groomed by Sky Bet to keep him hooked, investigation reveals

The executive summary and the full underlying report is available online.

One underappreciated part of the story is that Sky Bet appears to have sent the data of this British victim to an American company called Iovation. The founders of Iovation were closely associated with the widespread theft of millions of dollars of customer money in the twin scandals at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet which I helped to combat around 15 years ago

It is shameful that there are companies which pretend to be legitimate gambling operators in these Isles but which send the data to corporations associated with fraud such as Iovation.

The staff members who made the decision(s) to send the data of British customers to Iovation have no right to operate in a legitimate business, and would be fired and dismissed from a legitimate gambling corporation.

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.