If you’ve spent any time whatsoever looking at the world of betting, you’ll no doubt be aware that certain companies are owned by a larger parent company. Coral and Ladbrokes, for example, are both owned by Entain, which is also the company behind the likes of Gala and Foxy Bingo.
Paddy Power and Betfair are also linked, which used to be easy to tell because the parent company was given the imaginative name of Paddy Power Betfair. That changed when it re-branded as Flutter Entertainment, but the fact they’re linked still remains the case. Since then they merged with the Stars Group and now brands like Sky Bet also fall under Flutter.
What you might well be wondering, therefore, is whether companies that have a link to each other share information about their customers. The answer is ‘yes’, so if you’re flagged as a problem customer with one company then the likelihood is high that that information will be passed onto other companies within the same overall business.
What is less clear is whether companies share information such as something that would seriously affect a market if it was widely known. This could be seen as collusion and is therefore less likely to happen, though in the world of online betting anything is possible.
Bookmakers & Information Sharing
Imagine a scenario in which you opened a shoe store, with your brother opening a different shoe store that was under the same parent company owned by your mother. A customer has repeatedly come in to try on shoes in your shop but has never bought any. What would you do with information about said customer?
The likelihood is that you’d let your brother know that a weirdo keeps coming into your shop, in order to stop them from falling foul to the same antics that you’ve been having to put up with on a regular basis.
Though that is a silly example, it shows how companies that are linked will often work together in order to save themselves pain and hurt. In the world of online betting, things are even more important when you consider the amount of money that is involved for most companies.
As part of the policy, you are almost certainly agreeing to the company that you’ve signed up with sharing your data with other groups. Aside from anything else, betting companies need to meet certain Know Your Customer criteria, which means that they have to share some of your information in order to ensure that you’re neither money laundering nor struggling when it comes to debts and other things.
If a bookmaker tells you that they won’t share your data, they are almost certainly lying to you given that they need to in order to meet the conditions of their licence.
What Data Will Be Shared?
Now that we know that it is extremely likely that your data will be shared, the next question that you’ll want an answer to is what information it is that they’ll be sharing.
Thanks to the General Data Protection Regulation that was introduced in 2018, you can choose to stop a bookie from sharing non-essential information. You can also ask them to wipe all information from their system as part of the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’. Though this is obviously all good news, there is still a fair bit of information that bookmakers will share.
Bookies are, for example, allowed to refuse any requests around data if it would breach regulatory compliance, like if you’re suspected of money laundering. The same sort of thing applies of a company thinks that you’ve been engaging in suspicious behaviour, meaning that they then have the right to pass on your information to the relevant authorities.
In the same vein, regulators like the Gambling Commission can request customer information during the process of an investigation, which will tell them things such as whether you were allowed to bet beyond your means, which would be a regulatory failing.
Who Can Get Access To Your Data
The good news is that, as long as you’ve signed up to a trustworthy company that has obtained a licence from the UKGC, your information won’t be shared with just any Tom, Dick or Harriet. That is providing you secure your own data, for example, not logging in through public wifi. Instead, there are only certain other organisations that your data will be shared with.
As a result, you can expect your information to be shared between companies within the same group, like Ladbrokes, Coral and others if you’re placing bets with companies owned by Entain, or William Hill and 888 if you’re betting with an 888 Group business.
This will often include not just information that needs to be shared for regulatory reasons, but also data such as your email address or your I.P. Address. The result of this is that you can expect to receive marketing from a sister site to the one that you thought you were signing up with.
If the company has decided to limit your bets, don’t be surprised if your wagers are also restricted with the other companies within the same business. The good news is that your information will usually be shared if you choose to self-exclude, so not being able to place bets with Coral will also mean you’re likely to be excluded from betting with Ladbrokes, say.
The other thing that you might find is that you’ve agreed to share your information with the dreaded ‘trusted third parties’. This can include outsourced customer support, for example, or customer surveys. If it is a marketing thing, you should have the right to unsubscribe from such a list, meaning that you won’t hear from them in the future.
Another thing to bear in mind is that if you’re suspected of being involved in something such as match fixing, you might well discover that your details have been shared with a sporting body like the Football Association, who would investigate the issue.
Personal Examples Of Data Sharing
To give you an idea of how companies share information here are a few personal examples. I had an account with Coral where I would use a lot of their promotions. I also had an account with Ladbrokes but it was not very active, I didn’t use the promotions and would place a couple of bets a month on normal markets.
My Coral account was limited and all promotions restricted. Within one hour I received the exact same email from Ladbrokes with the same reasoning. Given there was not reason to limit my Ladbrokes account on its own it is obvious the Ladbrokes account was limited due to internal data sharing within the group.
Interestingly I had a very active William Hill account too. In the past I was limited by 888. Virtually as soon as 888 bought the Will Hill European assets and that sale completed in 2022 my Will Hill account was limited almost immediately.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, not all companies do it. For example, I am not able to access sports promotions through my Betfair account but I can still use my Paddy Power as normal. My Sky Bet account is restricted only for gaming promotions. Therefore this group are treating each brand independently (although that doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone).
Ultimately if you want to have multiple betting accounts but you want to minimise data sharing choose accounts with different companies. Pick one Entain account, one Flutter account, etc. Many newer sites are part of larger third-party platforms or are white labels under a single license. It is almost assured that your data will be shared within that network – so it is worth knowing who you are betting with before you start.