|Sky TV is to launch compulsory background checks against all of its TV betting customers in an attempt to control the increasing number of problem gamblers, following the massive growth in interactive TV (iTV) gambling in recent months. |
Until now Sky, which operates several iTV betting and gaming services including Sky Bet Vegas, has only carried out random checks on its customers.
The new checks will not only verify the age of each client, but will also examine their credit history in a bid to prevent problem gamblers using its services.
Sky comes is also launching the UK's first £1 million ($1,630,000) jackpot available through iTV on its new service, Sky Bet Millions.
Nick Rust, MD of Sky Bet, says the decision to improve its protection measures and enforce compulsory checks was made following the installation of new checking software.
We’ll check all our customers to ensure that no minors are using our services and will make this clear to them,” Rust said.
Sky is also planning to introduce a number of 'reality checks' such as informing gamers of how long they have been playing, as well as educational messages about the addictive nature of gambling.
The new measures from Sky are timely in light of concerns from Gambling charities and the Government. “The more exposure to services such as these on TV, the greater the risk is,” said Gamcare e-gaming specialist Michael Smeaton. “We're now looking for a greater emphasis on protection and prevention from the operators,”
Gamcare is already working closely with iTV operators including Sky, Avago and Rank and has recently drawn up a Code of Conduct for the industry.