5 Leading UK Bookmakers Agree on a Package of Safer Gambling Measures and Problem Gamblers Support
Five of UK’s leading bookmakers have signed a pact today, committing to a package of measures that would support problem gamblers and would create a safer gambling environment.
William Hill, Sky Betting and Gaming, Flutter (Betfair and Paddy Power), bet365, and GVC (Coral and Ladbrokes) have had the help of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to broker the commitments.
The Five Bookmakers in Action
Flutter’s CEO Peter Jackson said that this level of commitment and collaboration by leading bookmakers in the UK’s iGaming sector to promote safer gambling and address gambling-related harm was unprecedented. Sure, the whistle-to-whistle advertising ban was a good start, he said, but a significant expansion in treatment and a number of other areas of collaboration would do great, too.
For starters, they will increase financial support by paying 1% voluntary contribution of their Gross Gambling Yield by 2023, instead of paying the current 0.1%. For the safer gambling tenfold, they plan on collecting circa £60 million by 2023 and maintain it at that level in the future. The 0.1% of their Gross Gambling Yield will be given to GambleAware annually to support its existing independent research programme and treatment commitments.
In addition, they will contribute £100 million to treatment in collaboration with the Department for Health and Social Care, the NHS and the DCMS. Their aim is determining how additional funds are deployed to support the increased provision of counselling for those with lived experience and established charities. The priority is quadrupling the number of problem gamblers accessing treatment from 2.5% to 10%.
The five bookmakers will further share data to protect problem gamblers from accessing betting sites, building on the successful GAMSTOP multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. And, they will report publically on their progress in the annual assurance statements to the UKGC.
Finally, they have agreed to support dedicated campaigns, increase safer gambling messages in their ads and review their tone and the content of all advertising, marketing and sponsorship.
Praises from Fellow Safer Gambling Advocates
Lord Chadlington, one of the leading safe gambling advocates and Conservative peer, praised the initiative made by the 5 bookmakers, saying that it would ensure that the essential reforms to protect the vulnerable and the underage particularly with the online gambling growth would be rooted in independent research on numerous gambling harms.
Chadlington added that there must be a certainty that the consultation process would secure the means for the programmes to be evaluated and funds administrated, independent of the five contributing bookmakers and the gambling industry as a whole.