GVC Holdings has revealed that it has increased its ‘cash and in-kind contributions towards responsible gambling charities’ during 2019.
Publishing its 2019-20 CSR Report, the betting group revealed that cash and in-kind contributions to charities increased from £2.51 million in 2018 up to £3.61 million in 2019.
The report read: “Having already doubled our investment into research, education and treatment (“RET”) of gambling-related harm in 2019 to 0.2% of UK Gross Gaming Revenue (“GGR”) in 2019 (c.£4m), we led the industry as the first operator to commit to a 10-fold increase by 2022 (equivalent to £20m per year at current rates). We were delighted when four other major UK operators followed this lead in July 2019, pledging a similar increase.
“To add longevity, independence and professionalism to our RET investments, we have launched the GVC Global Foundation, which will coordinate and support GVC’s donations.”
Promoting itself as a socially responsible operator, GVC also highlighted its role in the roll-out of the ‘whistle to whistle’ ban which came into effect in August 2019.
It added: “GVC has led the industry bringing about the introduction of a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on sports-betting broadcast advertising in the UK. This came into effect in August 2019. The Group also unilaterally ended all UK football shirt sponsorship and perimeter board advertising and has encouraged others in the industry to follow suit.
“We donated our shirt sponsorship rights for both Charlton Athletic and Sunderland AFC to our charity partner, Children with Cancer UK, while sponsorship assets in the Scottish Professional Football League and with a number of high-profile English clubs for the 2019/20 season were given over to support GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ campaign.”
Notably, GVC also recorded a drop in the number of self-exclusion requests during 2019, reporting a 55.9% year-on-year decline in self-exclusion requests from 334,765 in 2018 to 147,473.
The operator emphasised that ‘the decrease in self exclusions in 2019 was driven by greater use of new account management tools enabling our players to set their own play limits as well as earlier interventions from our RG teams’.
Customer interactions relating to problem gambling also fell from 1.12 million to 1.07 million in 2019. Meanwhile, customer complaints increased by 66.9% to 22,543 for the year, though complaints specifically regarding a gambling transaction were down 13.8% to 2,388.