The efforts of the UK Government and the regulatory bodies to promote responsible gambling in all areas and branches of the industry appears to be giving results. Following the decision of GVC Holdings and William Hill to stop their football shirt sponsorships, of which we wrote at the beginning of this month in our article on the UKGC and its National Problem Gambling Strategy, and several other initiatives, now we have a new trade association which unites top gambling affiliates in Britain.
Largest Affiliate Companies Founded The New Association
The name of the newly formed association is Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAIG) and it is pretty evident what will be their primary focus and concern. Three of the largest organisations in the affiliate sector – Better Collective, Oddschecker and Racing Post.
Founders of RAIG all agree that affiliate marketing organisations should be included in the initiatives and actively participate in creating a safe atmosphere for punters. Each members and potential members have to agree to an audit that will be conducted by Gambling Integrity with the aim of establishing whether the organisation met the social responsibility standards.
The audit, and this is interesting to note, will test whether companies act in line with mandatory regulations, but also acts that are not mandatory, i.e. acts to which companies have voluntarily committed to adhere to.
The UK codes of Broadcast and Non-broadcast advertising are two pieces of legislation for which companies will be held responsible, but the code for socially responsible advertising, that is an internal act of the association will also be taken into consideration. Members of the association are also expected to work in accordance of all guidelines documents issued either by the Gambling Commission or the Advertising Standards Authority, as well as other relevant governmental bodies.
Anti-money laundering provisions and provisions on financial crimes will be particularly crucial in the process of determining whether a company promotes socially responsible gambling. In addition to the audits, the RAIG will commit to communicating with politicians and other relevant stakeholders on matters that have to do with responsible gambling marketing. Clive Hawkswood was inaugured chairman of the association and in his first speech he gave credit to all founding members of RAIG, re-stating the organisation’s mission – social responsible and safer gambling.
At Gambling Integrity were also delighted that they would be able to conduct audits on behalf of the newly formed association.
Richard Flint: Industry Should Do More For Problem Gamblers
If you’re not familiar with the name Richard Flint, he is in charge of Sky Bet, which makes his statement particularly serios. Flint added that the largest companies in the industry should organise and fund gambling treatment centres. His statement was criticised by representatives of the charity Gambling with Lives.
Sky Bet is one of the largest operators in the UK and the company was valued at £3 billion. Flint also stated that in the past companies actively encouraged players to spend more than they can afford to lose. In fact, Sky Bet were forced to pay £1 million for failing to protect vulnerable punters.
At the moment there is just one gambling treatment centre in London, but another one is set to open this summer in Leeds.
On the other hand, America is getting used to having less restrictions when it comes to gambling, particularly sports betting. Namely, PASPA was repealed a year ago.