32Red Calls Out Sunday Times Report as ‘untrue and unfounded’
by Glenn Baird - January 20, 2020
32Red have Responded to an article written in the Sunday Times yesterday that claimed the betting firm’s mother company, GB Group, had gained access to data from the Learning Records Service, stating that the allegations are “untrue and unfounded”.
The Sunday Times’ exclusive reported that the GB Group were “wrongly provided access” to a database with information on over 28 million children.
The report claims that the database contains the names, ages and addresses of children aged over 14 living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Department for Education are reported to have passed the case on to their regulators the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and have subsequently disabled the database.
A spokesperson for the ICO has said: “We have received a report from the Department for Education and we will be making enquiries.”
Whilst a spokesperson for the DfE has said: “We have not shared any data with GBG.
“An education training provider wrongly provided access to this data and broke their agreement with us. This was completely unacceptable and we have immediately stopped the firm’s access and ended our agreement with them. We will be taking the strongest possible action.”
According to the Sunday Times the GB Group had a contract through another company that allowed then access to the database, the information from which was used for age and identity verification services for its clients.
Employment screening company ,Trust Systems Software (UK) had been provided access to the Learning Records Service by the government and the Sunday Times will now be investigating to find out if that company then provided GB Group with access.
A GB Group spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we use the Learning Records Service dataset via a third party. We take claims of this nature very seriously and, depending on the results of our review, we will take appropriate action.”
A 32Red spokesperson said: “Allegations that 32Red, among other betting companies, has access to the Learning Records Service database are untrue and unfounded.
“As a responsible betting operator we have zero tolerance on under-age gambling. We are legally required to verify a number of criteria, including the age of people who wish to enjoy our services to ensure that they are over the age of 18.
“The only information 32Red has access to is confirmation or rejection that the person requesting to open an account with us is over the age of 18, and not specific details about that person.”
“83 per cent of all 32Red’s new players in 2019 were over 25 years old and we actively shape our advertising to an older demographic. And since 2018, we have reduced the volume of new 18-24 customers by 15 per cent. For the second consecutive year, we have also reduced promotional activity towards young adults. Promotional spend on players 18-24 years old is now 36 per cent lower than in 2017 and fell 27 per cent vs 2018.
“While we understand there is heightened scrutiny on the gambling sector at present, it is vital that reporting remains accurate and based on evidence and facts. We welcome an evolving debate on how to ensure gambling remains safe and fun for players and only ever takes place in a regulated environment. 32Red is part of Kindred Group, who set the highest standard for safe, secure and sustainable gambling across all our brands and markets.”
The Betting and Gaming Council had this to say on the matter: “Media reports that betting companies have access to the Learning Records Service database are untrue. GB Group provides age-verification services to a range of organisations from banks to government agencies and betting companies.
“All betting companies are legally required to verify the age of people who wish to join to ensure that they are over the age of 18, the only information GB Group provides is confirmation or rejection that the applicant is over the age of 18.”