Betfair admitted failing to identify Luke Ashton as a high-risk gambler before taking his own life. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Betfair has admitted that its machine learning algorithm failed to identify Luke Ashton as a high-risk user before he committed suicide. The 40-year-old passed away in April 2021 after struggling for many years with a gambling problem. In the previous month he had lost £5,000 ($6,408) and was making huge amounts of bets every day at that time.
Betfair Exchange was one of Ashton’s favorite online gambling platforms and the operator was designated as a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation. This was the first time this rating had been given to a gambling company in a hearing like this.
He isolated himself from the platform for a period of time in 2013, 2014, and 2016
Paddy Power Betfair Managing Director Richard Clarke He spoke at the investigation this week About the failure to recognize the gambling behavior of the Leicester native. The father of two had previously isolated himself from the platform for a while in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
When the operator identifies a potentially vulnerable player, they can take steps to try to help the person restrict their gambling. Speaking of the tragic outcome, Clark said: “Looking at Locke’s activity in March 2021, it seems like we should have done more.” He noted that a lot has changed since then.