2019.07.27

Plans set out for safer gambling environment by leading UK operators

A plan for increasing funds has been set up for solving gaming problems and safer gaming environments by Sky Betting and Gaming, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, GVC Holdings and bet365

As per the announcement in June, the core commitment of the plan is to increase the present contribution in aid of resolving gambling issues from 0.1% to 1% of total gambling collections by 2023. As per the operators this manifold increase will touch a yearly subscription of €67.1m/$75.7m or £60m by the year 2023 with the intention to keep up this amount hereafter.

The scheme, in association with UK’s DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports) has operators paying a yearly donation of 0.1% of their GGY directly to GambleAware in support of its independent research projects as well as its remedial obligations.

Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter states: “This level of dedication and cooperation by leading British and gaming companies to tackle hurt and damage to the gambling sector and encourage protected and secure gambling, is unprecedented.”

“The success of whistle-to-whistle advertisement ban has led us to contribute towards an important development for treatment and we shall go forward on other areas of excellence and cooperation.  Our target is to change the way of dealing with harm related to gambling.”

The five operators have pledged to spend £100m in the next four years for supporting treatment. Their aim is to work with Department for Health and Social Care, existing service providers and DCMS to increase the number of those availing treatment from 2.5% to 10% four times.

The agreement between the operators is to scrutinize the subject matter of all advertising, sponsorships and marketing, support committed drives and enhance the security of gambling messaging in advertisements. With the use of technology, messages will be diverted from gambling troublemakers.

The operators will further share data to prevent problematic gamers from encountering more damage. This follows the unveiling of the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme and its surface-based counterpart, GAMSTOP. 

The dedicated progress in this project will be made public, as per the commitment of each brand. This, along with the confirmation of 1% voluntary payment will be printed in the annual assurance statement to the Gambling Commission.

Lord Chadlington, the Conservative who has been advocating safer gaming methods has said – “This proposal is to make sure that the relevant reforms aimed at protecting the young and gullible, especially in the area of online gambling, will have the freedom to investigate everything from suicide to the perils of online gambling. That basis of evidence should be used for treatment as well as self education.” 

He further explained - “We must ensure that through discussions, we arrive at a conclusion whereby the funds are dispensed and the scheme is evaluated without the interference of the gambling industry and the subscribing companies.”

“There is a level of agreement, never witnessed before, among the prominent companies that it is time the industry came forward to ensure the problems related to harm and injury enveloping the gambling sector are dealt with” adds Philip Bowcock, chief executive William Hill.

“We anticipate this will be a new chapter of support within the industry as well as between charities, the government, regulators and the industrial experts to minimize risks and augment secure gambling.

The move has also been welcomed by GambleAware chief, Marc Etches who says it is expedient that sufficient funding be maintained to offer support and treatment for those who are ‘at risk’ as well as the young and susceptible gamblers.

Etches further states – “An atmosphere should be provided to patrons where they can gamble safely and where they can expect advice and support whenever required.”

“It is imperative that we work in tandem with the government, commission and other entities to make certain that the main agenda of the operators is to create safer gambling stuff and see to the proper funding of support and treatment in conjunction with projects such as Bet Regret, Safer Gambling campaign.”