Bookmakers’ software under scrutiny – BBC News


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The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating whether online bookies are breaking the law.

It has found in favour of two punters who complained about software being downloaded on to their computers without their permission.

The gamblers believe the software could be used to track their betting history and close their accounts if they win.

The gambling companies say they are not breaching data laws and they use the software to protect against fraud.

The software at the centre of the complaints is called iesnare or iovation and downloads automatically when you log in to some online gambling websites. In some cases, it’s downloaded when you visit the homepage.

Brian Chappell, who runs the campaign website Justice for Punters, has had his accounts closed with online bookmakers after placing winning bets.

He found the software on his computer after visiting the Skybet website, he told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours.

“I actually cleaned my hard drive on my laptop and I intentionally went on the Skybet website before I went on any other internet site and within two seconds, iesnare – now called iovation, they keep changing the name – and there it was.”

Accounts closed

Skybet said: “Like many other operators, we use iesnare to tackle fraudulent activity. We notify customers we use iesnare in a banner at the top of our website and in our privacy policy.”

The horseracing industry is worried about punters not being able to place their bets.

In April 2016 the Horseracing Bettors Forum, which was set up with the assistance of the British Horseracing Authority to represent punters, surveyed…

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