GVC to Miss Parliamentary Meeting on Gambling Harm

  • GVC’s Kenny Alexander to miss a parliamentary gambling harm meeting
  • MPs unhappy with an umber of cancellation
  • UKGC and ASA bosses also miss the meeting

GVC has said that former boss, Kenny Alexander, will not appear at a Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Wednesday, September 4.

GVC to Miss Gambling Harm Parliamentary Group Meeting

GVC Holdings, one of the largest British gaming companies, will skip a Parliamentary hearing that will focus on online gambling exclusively. Following the withdrawal of GVC boss Kenny Alexander, the company has been re-focusing on internal restructuring instead and has not found time to send a new representative. A number of other executives will also not be in attendance.

Mr. Alexander was the supposed pick for GVC, but with his withdrawal from the company, no substitute has been found in time and GVC has kept quiet on the issue. While the big men at the helm of William Hill and Flutter, Philip Bowcock and Peter Jackson respectively, chose to withdraw, they found replacements in other C-level executives.

Representatives of other big UK brands, including William Hill, Flutter Entertainment along with others, will attend . Operators spoke with the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group, a new political body within Parliament designed to help combat harm caused by gambling.

This move wasn’t met very cheerfully by the Parliamentary Group. Carolyn Harris, a Member of Parliament, said that such last-minute recalls were unacceptable. Mr. Harris fixed on what he understood as a lack of transparency on the part of some of the most influential gaming executives in the country:

They seem to think they have better things to do than to explain their actions publicly. They are running scared and their actions are cowardly in the extreme.”

The gambling industry has been getting a lot more scrutiny than before in the past few years. Specifically, a new levy on remote gambling was introduced along with bans on FOBTs £100 betting limits. The discussion exposed some very heavy lobbying at the time.

GVC Commits to Better Player Safety

Mr. Alexander would have attended, but his business plans changed unexpectedly, GVC explained for media representatives. However, the company has already been putting solid efforts in bolstering security. That has mostly been achieved through the “Changing for the Bettor” initiative. The focus of the policy was:

  • Protecting customers from gambling harm
  • Reducing any negative effects thereof
  • Raising overall standards
  • Aiding vulnerable customers

GVC continues with this initiative as an extension of previous efforts. Specifically, GVC supported the whistle-to-whistle ban designed to reduce the number of betting advertisement shown in prime hours.

The company has not backed out of any opportunity to raise standards across the board until now. However, Mr. Alexander is not alone. Betfred’s Fred Done also couldn’t accept an invitation because of other business engagement.

Flutter will be represented by Dan Taylor who is head of European operations for the company. However, even Gambling Commission executive Neil McArthur couldn’t attend along with Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) director of policy and practice Shahriar Coupal.

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