UK gambling operators have come together to support the recent launch of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection. The code will come into action on the 1st of March 2014, and will look to bring new best practices for better protection of UK betting and gambling customers.
The newly designed code implemented by the ABB, will focus on furthering player protection. The Codes initiative will introduce better monitoring of gambling play, enforcing breaks for customers on gambling machines, automatic alerts about the money and time spent. Betting shop managers and staff will be further trained to spot habits of addicted gamblers, in order to curve problem gambling.
Dirk Vennix, Chief Executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, said: “The Code will help give players more control and encourage responsible gambling. It forms part of the industry’s ongoing, proactive efforts to be socially responsibly, to tackle problem gambling and to ensure a duty of care towards every customer”.
After weeks of negative media attention and debate concerning expansion betting shops and advertising of UK betting and gaming service, UK gaming’s biggest operators have come in support of the code, with CEO’s of retail, igaming and operational betting businesses being vocal in their support of the new Code. Top level management from leading UK operators – Ladbrokes, William Hill, Ireland’s Paddy Power and Coral have all stated their support.
Ralph Topping, CEO of William Hill Plc, commented: “During our 80 years in business, William Hill people have always displayed a strong commitment to social responsibility. Our latest commitment, the ABB code, has been 12 months in creation, and the final stages will be rolled out shortly, giving further impetus to the promotion of responsible gambling across all betting shop products.”
Andy McCue, Head of Retail (UK & Ireland) at Paddy Power commented: “At Paddy Power we take our social responsibilities very seriously. Although for the vast majority of our customers gambling is a fun and enjoyable pastime, we are very aware that a small minority develop problems. The best way to minimise potential harm is to put punters firmly in control of their gambling and ensure our staff are on hand to provide information about where to get treatment and support when it is needed. The Code measures help do just that and are significant in the industry’s efforts to help tackle problem gambling.”
support and reaction to the Code, has thus far been positive, with charity GamCare showing support for its implementation. Additionally the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) have released a statement commenting:-
“The sensible ‘nudge-style’ measures in the new code should help the small minority of compulsive gamblers without unduly hindering the enjoyment of the majority. All gambling activities inevitably attract problem gamblers. Fixed odds betting terminals are just the latest gambling product to become the focus of a moral panic. There are no magic bullets and prohibition never works, but the betting industry has responded with sound harm reduction measures that we can support.”