- Sportsbooks in the UK to manage responsible gambling funds
- A series of initiative to improve gambling undertaken in the UK
- Paddy Power and Sky Betting particularly insistent to protect customers
Sports betting companies in the United Kingdom will create a special committee to oversee how money allocated to responsible gambling are spent.
The Big 5 of Betting in the UK Team Up
Betting companies in the United Kingdom will step up their efforts to better manage funds allocated to responsible gambling. As a result, the five largest companies, collectively known as the “Big Five,” are creating a special committee with the help of Conservative Party member Lord Chadlington who will preside over the initiative.
This marks the latest in a long series of efforts by betting agencies in the United Kingdom to step up their focus on player well being. Before that, sportsbooks agreed to opt into a voluntary watershed ban, excluding gambling ads from TV before the watershed.
This being said, the five companies participating in the imitative are bet365, Flutter Entertainment, which is the owner of Paddy Power and Betfair, GVC through their Ladbrokes and Coral brands, Sky Betting and Gaming and of course William Hill.
These companies have both land-based and online operations in the United Kingdom and command the majority of the market. The move is occasioned by the need to take pre-emptive measures and get ahead of the UK Gambling Commission and lawmakers who have been introducing a number of stringent measures to mitigate gambling harm.
William Hill had to shut down 700 shops as a result of the newly-voted FOBTs terminals which slashed the total amount that can be wagered on fixed-betting odds terminals. In its essence, the plan is to ensure that responsible gambling practices are kept and thus future stringent legislation is avoided.
Here are the words of Lord Chadlington commenting on the developments:
“The committee will consult widely to formulate its recommendations taking account in particular of the views of government, regulators, the third sector, gambling operators and those with lived experience. I am pleased to accept the invitation to chair this committee particularly as the five gambling companies are committed to implementing any reasonable recommendations it may make. I will announce the membership of the committee by mid-September.”
Managing the Funds they Raised
This move follows a previous integrative undertaken by the companies whereby voluntary contributions towards problem gambling funds was raised to 1% of GGR by 2023. The decision was an extensions of the whistle-to-whistle ban adopted previously. Some criticized the watershed ban, as they said that the companies were giving the public a sop, as they were sounding a retreat to digital advertisement where exposure is bigger.
Meanwhile, Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint has been actively encouraging his colleague from across the betting and gaming business to do more to protect customers. Mr Flint was one of the critics of the watershed ban as well.
Paddy Power has also shown commitment to keeping sports clean and players safe by asking for betting companies to stop promoting their products on athletes’ jerseys, a move that has been picked up by fellow companies.
The rapid pace at which companies are re-defining the betting industry is forcing companies to be smarter and stay ahead of any potentially disruptive changes. They have been keeping up so far.