UK Operators to Spend 1% of GGR on Responsible Gambling

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A pedestrian outside a William Hill betting shop.
  • £60 million per year to be spent on gambling protection
  • Big gambling operators in the UK agree to new protective measures
  • Responsible gambling spending to increase to 1%

Top UK operators have agreed to contribute more to help tackle gambling addiction and boost customer protection. The brands will be spending 1% of their gross gaming yield by 2023.

Operators Agree to Contribute More to Responsible Gambling

Amid record-high penalties, UK gambling operators have come together to adopt a new responsible gambling package that is estimated at £60 million. The goal of leading brands, such as GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Sky Betting and Gaming, is to create an action plan that would allow them to prevent reckless gambling behavior from happening on their watch.

This follows both a decision by the UK Gambling Commission to issue stricter customer protection measures as well an earlier voluntary watershed gambling ads ban passed earlier this year. The changes in the UK gambling landscape are many and quickly happening. The calls for narrowing down the possibility for gambling harm have been ongoing, with politicians weighing in.

The brands participating in the plan will rev up the amount they contribute to problem gambling initiatives to 1% from their gross gambling yield, from 0.1% presently. The total gambling contributions will reach £60 million by 2023, which is a substantial chunk of capital that will be allocated to NGOs and existing responsible gambling establishments, such as GambleAware.

This new package will be developed jointly with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Flutter Entertainment boss Peter Jackson commented on the measures, saying:

“This is an unprecedented level of commitment and collaboration by the leading companies in the British betting and gaming sector to address gambling-related harm and promote safer gambling.”

Mr. Jackson also commented on the whistle-to-whistle ads ban which has been the first step in addressing the issue of problem gambling. Meanwhile, the operators have said that they would spend upward of £100 million to ensure that gambling addiction treatment is administered to individuals who need it.

Operators to Review Gambling Practices

Meanwhile operators have agreed to act on a number of practices aimed at improving the overall security and boosting customer confidence. From revising marketing and advertising campaigns, to re-considering sponsorship opportunities, the big sports books in the United Kingdom know that there is a lot at stake and not being an active part of the change would yield results that are bad for business.

The UKGC is also concerned with protecting young and vulnerable groups who may indulge in gambling to the point of developing addiction or depression that leads to hams, such as suicide in the worst cases. According to Lord Chadlington, a MEP, treatment can help if administered correctly. Here is what he had to say:

“We must be certain that through the consultation process, a means is secured for the funds to be administered and the programmes evaluated, independent of the contributing companies and the gambling industry as a whole.”

Everyone has taken fondly to the move, including William Hill boss, Philip Bowcock was also excited at the opportunity revealed by this new package deal. Mr. Bowcock called this an unprecedented level of agreement and addressing the problem of gambling-related harm head-on.

Whether this is true remains to be seen. The UKGC was forced to issue penalties up to £19.6 million in 2018/2019, making for a rather unpleasant year for everyone. Hopefully, these new measures will reach their intended goal.

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