Ladbrokes data scandal: personal information of millions of customers offered for sale to national newspaper

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Ladbrokes suffered a mighty embarrassment, earlier this week, and 4,500,000 customers had cause to get nervous, when the Mail On Sunday revealed that the UK uber-bookmaker&#8217-s customer database had been offered to them for sale:

For sale: Personal details of millions of Ladbrokes gamblers, offered to the MoS by a mysterious Australian

The confidential records of millions of British gamblers who bet with top bookmaker Ladbrokes have been offered for sale to the Mail On Sunday. The huge data theft is now at the centre of a criminal investigation after this newspaper was given the personal information of 10,000 Ladbrokes customers and offered access to its database of 4.5 million people in the UK and abroad.


This is no fake claim, as attested to by the fact that a &#8220-taster&#8221- of the full database was handed over by the culprit, fully ten thousand names and highly confidential personal details for the purpose of whetting the potential client&#8217-s appetite.

Hey-ho. The gambling industry at its predictable worst.

These incidents are not new &#8211- I reported on an occurrence a few years ago in which an online gambling industry leader touted a database of 100,000 UK players to the highest bidder on his forum. Neither are they remotely hard to believe- while the average customer service representative might struggle to access his company&#8217-s full customer list, an employee higher up the chain in the IT department should have no such difficulty &#8211- a quick copy, paste and save&#8230-and it&#8217-s time to start lining up the buyers. I daresay the names of four and a half million bona fide gamblers would fetch a very fine price.

And while our data watchdog, the ICO, huffs and puffs its righteous indignation, I&#8217-m sure they know there really is very, very little you can realistically do about this. Just one employee with access is all you need.

It serves as a reality check: when you put your details online, they are just that: online. Assume that, at some future point, someone will be hawking your phone number, email and physical address to the highest bidder.

I commented also in my Ladbrokes data theft post, and see also the Racing Post&#8217-s Ladbrokes reassure users over data protection article.

Oh well, I don&#8217-t know- maybe privacy is overrated. :)

You cant have accumulator bets on the weather of neighboring regions…

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&#8230- because &#8220-if it snows in one city, it&#8217-s likely to snow in another city.&#8221- In other words, these weren&#8217-t independent events.

Via Barry Ritholtz (author of Bailout Nation)

Nobel Prize for Economics 2009 – Prediction Accuracy

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2009 to Elinor Ostrom &#8220-for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons&#8221- and Oliver E. Williamson &#8220-for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm&#8221-.

Both the bookmakers and the prection markets are utterly useless in trying to divine who will get the Nobel prize of economics.

Below is the 2009 prediction post-mortem:

1. Bookmakers

Ladbrokes&#8217-s probabilities (odds) for the 2009 Nobel prize in economics:

Eugene Fama 2/1
Paul Romer 4/1
Ernst Fehr 6/1
Kenneth R. French 6/1
William Nordhaus 6/1
Robert Barro 7/1
Matthew J Rabin 8/1
Jean Tirole 9/1
Martin Weitzman 9/1
Chris Pissarides 10/1
Dale T Mortensen 10/1
Xavier Sala-i-Martin 10/1
Avinash Dixit 14/1
Jagdish N. Bhagwati 14/1
Robert Schiller [sic] 14/1
William Baumol 16/1
Martin S. Feldstein 20/1
Christopher Sims 25/1
Lars P. Hansen 25/1
Nancy Stokey 25/1
Peter A Diamond 25/1
Thomas J. Sargent 25/1
Dale Jorgenson 33/1
Paul Milgrom 33/1
Oliver Hart 40/1
Bengt R Holmstrom 50/1
Elhanan Helpman 50/1
Ellinor Ostrom 50/1
Gene M Grossman 50/1
Karl-Goran Maler 50/1
Oliver Williamson 50/1
Robert B Wilson 50/1

2. Betting Pools

Here is the betting in the Nobel pool at Harvard:

Robert Barro -10%
John Taylor &#8211- 8%
Paul Milgrom &#8211- 8%
Jean Tirole &#8211- 6%
Oliver Williamson &#8211- 6%
Martin Weitzman &#8211- 6%
Eugene Fama &#8211- 5%
Richard Thaler &#8211- 5%
Lars Hansen &#8211- 4%
Paul Romer &#8211- 4%

3. Prediction Markets



Previously: Nobel Prize for Economics 2009 Predictions

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