FTSE100 gambling group GVC Holdings has pledged to double its donations towards research education and treatment of problem gambling as part of its new global responsible gambling campaign.
The ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign will facilitate a new five year, $5 million partnership with problem gambling research unit – Division on Addiction, which will improve access to anonymised player data across its services.
GVC’s Director of Responsible Gaming Grainne Hurst said: “Whilst the vast majority of our customers enjoy playing with us in a safe and fun environment we are aware that for some players, gambling can impact their lives negatively.
“We are committed to leading the industry in minimising potential harm caused by problem gambling.
“That is why we are today launching Changing for the Bettor and have partnered with Harvard faculty at the Division on Addiction to help us to better understand and tackle the issues around problem gambling.”
The gambling group’s chief executive, Kenneth Alexander, has long been an advocate for betting leaders to commit to gambling advertising restraints to protect younger audiences from engaging with gambling-related content.
In October 2018, Alexander told City AM that industry competitors bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair must collaborate to minimise the saturation of betting/gambling related adverts being broadcast to UK audiences.
He stated at the time: “We should make the changes collaboratively with the rest of the industry, which might be difficult, and ultimately it’s up to the government to decide if they want to legislate or not.”
Kenneth Alexander’s autumn 2018 statement, betting’s Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (‘IGRG’) has moved to enforce a stronger advertising code for UK operators, which will see a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on all TV betting-related adverts broadcast during pre-watershed live sports programming (inbound July 2019)
Dr Howard Shaffer, who is a director at Division on Addiction, added: “It is only by taking an evidence-based approach to examining gambling that we can develop better strategies and tools to limit its potential to cause harm.
“The collaboration with GVC that we have announced today will play a significant role in advancing our knowledge about gambling and intemperate gambling and is warmly welcomed.”