Alex Macey, a police officer who had suffered an addiction to gambling since the age of 11, and in particular since he joined the police in 2003, said in written evidence: “I had received a bombardment of emails and texts from companies I had never even signed-up with https://www.suissecasinoenligne.com/jeux-de-casino/roulette/.
Whilst it was apparent that the minority of this marketing were directly from the licence holders the majority clearly seemed to be from affiliates of the licence holders.”271 He expanded on this in oral evidence: “I could show you my phone today, and there would be between five and 10 emails from affiliates that have no permission to contact me.
I do not even know who they are. It is quite hard to track down who they are, and they are linked to the main companies again. Funnily enough, I wrote to a company and told them: “You have sent me marketing material after I self-excluded”. They agreed that it was wrong and gave me a refund. I had to sign a bit of paper saying that I would not tell anyone about it; fine. A month later, an affiliate sent me another text from this company—so, the same company, after I had signed this non-disclosure, sent me another text message. They have no control of their affiliates’ behaviour.”
When we took evidence from the main gambling operators,273 we asked them how they could justify using third parties to drive customers to their companies. Dan Taylor, the Chief Executive Officer of Paddy Power Betfair, explained that they had a small number of affiliate partners; they had reduced that number by 50% over the previous 12 months because they did not approve of the way the affiliates operated. He added that he would welcome a licensing regime for affiliates to ensure that they were held to the highest possible standards.