Gambling operators pledge to work with authorities in five areas

Viktor Vangelov | Published 8 Nov 2019, 8:25 a.m.

UK legislators and authorities have been looking at potential restrictive measures aimed at dealing with problem gambling and protection of children. We reported on the new suggestions made by the APPG, including the most controversial proposal – the introduction of a betting limit at online casinos, much to the example of a similar limit on fixed-odds betting terminals that was introduced earlier this year.

The operators are quite aware of the fact that the climate in the UK is changing for the worse and they have been trying to stay on top of things for a while now. Many proposals came from the operators, in most cases the leading five operators, as companies and their management were aware that if they are the ones to put a proposal they will be able to have at least some control over the situation and what sort of legislation is going to be proposed, which in turn will enable them to push towards a more operator-friendly legal framework.

Call to introduce a wagering limit online had a serious impact

We reported that gambling companies lost a lot of their value as share prices saw a decrease after the report and the suggestions by the APPG were made public, and now we know that gambling operators lost about £1.2 billion in value.

That might seem like a significant drop, and it is but bear in mind that the games which bring in significant revenue for gambling operators, over £2 billion annually. Operators have been blamed for failing to react and prevent gambling risks.

The operators quickly realised that they will need to react and the chief executives of 10 of the largest gambling organisations in the UK issued a statement that they are willing to commit to a set of measures in order to assist the Gambling Commission and ensure that the strategy to reduce gambling harms will be implemented accordingly.

The companies made a total of five pledges, each of which will be monitored publicly and independently, including stopping underage gambling while providing sufficient protection for young people, improve the codes of practices for marketing which will lead to clearer and fairer marketing communications and promote a culture of safe gambling.

The measures are proposed by the companies themselves, but the Senet Group participated in their development and the way they are formulated. The Senet Group is an industry body that has the goal of raising the standards in the gambling industry.

Operators will fund a £10m campaign

The CEO of Flutter Entertainment, Peter Jackson, said that the industry is willing to commit to putting more effort into ensuring that safety and security is provided. He added that it demonstrates a genuine desire to show that acting responsibly is at the heart of the gambling businesses.

One of the first actual things that operators will start doing is funding a national programme with the aim to educate young people which will be implemented by GamCare together with the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust. The grant is in an amount of £10 million. The organisations will work with young people who have a gambling problem and with their families, but they will also be working on raising awareness when it comes to gambling associated risks. With the new codes of contact it will be ensured that all marketing communications are fair and in accordance with the law.

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