Dirk Vennix

Associations formalise social responsibility work with new group

Dirk Vennix
Dirk Vennix

The UK’s main gambling trade associations have joined forces to establish the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) – a new body that formalises the responsible gambling work that the associations carry out.  The IGRG provides a structure to better promote socially responsible gambling in the British gambling market.

Building on existing relationships and work streams, it will also provide a cross-sector forum to consider matters of common interest associated with the three licensing objectives in Section 1 of the Gambling Act 2005.

The IGRG is comprised of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB); British Amusement & Catering Trade Association (BACTA); Bingo Association (BA); National Casino Forum (NCF); and Remote Gambling Association (RGA). These trade bodies represent businesses whose primary purpose is the provision of gambling opportunities, whose memberships reflect the spectrum of businesses trading and which have a detailed understanding of their respective areas.

The IGRG’s first piece of work will be to undertake a stock-take exercise of responsible gambling initiatives. Various companies, industry groups, and associations have been pro-active in this area and that work will be reviewed. This project will highlight what good practice could be shared across sectors and will inform any future decisions about work that the associations might undertake collaboratively through IGRG.

Precedence will also be given to overseeing the review of the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising following a request to do so from Maria Miller MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the RGA, commented: “The trade associations have been working together constructively for some time, especially on consumer protection issues, and the establishment of IGRG is a natural evolution of that.  IGRG will also incorporate the good work that has been done recently by the P3 Group of companies. Our focus will be on identifying practical measures to augment the existing safeguards for consumers.”

Dirk Vennix, Chief Executive of the ABB, added: “We are proud to join this new group as we remain committed to helping maintain the UK gambling industry as the best regulated and most responsible in the world. When we launched our new Code for Responsible Gambling  and Player Protection in October 2013 we wanted to make a difference to customers who are at risk of problem gambling and we are confident we will. We hope this group will build on the learnings from the ABB’s Code and form a hub for ground-breaking cross-sector initiatives in the future.”

Leslie Macleod – Miller, Chief Executive of BACTA, representing the British amusement industry commented: “The traditional amusement industry is proud of its long history of social responsibility and is actively engaged in a range of additional measures which will underpin the licensing objectives set out in the 2005 Act.  BACTA will shortly be launching its new Social Responsibility Manifesto building upon existing codes of conduct.  We look forward to continuing our work across a range of initiatives with other industry sectors.”

Tracy Damestani, Chief Executive of NCF, added: There is an enormous amount of work being done by companies and the various trade bodies.  Formalising our relationships and looking at the work across all the sectors should ensure that we deliver the best and safest products across the industry.”

Miles Baron, Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, said: “The Bingo Association is pleased to be involved in areas of common ground across the Gambling Industry particularly where player protection is concerned. We look forward to working with our colleagues from other Trade Associations as part of IGRG.”

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