Advancing UK betting’s social responsibility agenda, bet365, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, Sky Betting & Gaming and GVC Holdings have this morning committed to a ‘package of safer gambling measures and support for problem gamblers’.
The ‘UK Top 5’ directive follows discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on social and safer gambling responsibilities.
The package of measures aims to fund an ‘expansion of treatment for problem gamblers’ and initiatives to create a safer gambling environment.
On funding, the betting groups pledge to carry out their previously announced ‘tenfold commitment’ of increasing the voluntary levy on betting profits from 0.1% to 1% gross-gaming-yield, targeting a combined £60 million in funding by 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the companies, Peter Jackson, Group Chief Executive of Flutter Entertainment, said:
“This is an unprecedented level of commitment and collaboration by the leading companies in the British betting and gaming sector to address gambling-related harm and promote safer gambling.
“The whistle-to-whistle advertising ban was a good start, now we are funding a significant expansion in treatment and we continue to work on a number of areas of collaboration and best practice. Our aim is nothing less than a step change in how we tackle gambling-related harm.”
The collective details that treatment is central to its enhanced measures, as the five companies commit to spending a ‘cumulative £100 million on treatment over the next four years’.
Tackling any public concerns, the betting groups pledge to be transparent on their funding commitments, with progress on directives reported through ‘annual assurance statements’ provided to the UK Gambling Commission.
A further new directive sees the betting groups commit to deeper data sharing on problem gamblers helping support of UK betting’s new self-exclusion programme GAMSTOP.
Lord Chadlington is a Conservative peer who has been a leading advocate for safer gambling measures.
He said: “This initiative should ensure that the necessary reforms to protect the young and vulnerable particularly with the growth of online gambling will be rooted in independent research – on everything from online gambling harms to associated suicide. That evidence base should also be used for education and for treatment.
“We must be certain that through the consultation process, a means is secured for the funds to be administered and the programmes evaluated, independent of the contributing companies and the gambling industry as a whole.”