Ten of the largest UK based betting groups have got together to launch a new package of safer gambling pledges that aim to help and support the UK Gambling Commission’s national strategy to reduce gambling harm.
The five pledges are as follows:
- Prevent underage gambling and protect young people.
- Increase support for treatment of gambling harm.
- Strengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketing.
- Protect and empower our customers.
- Promote a culture of safer gambling.
These commitments will be independently monitored and in a bid to improve transparency and accountability, the CEOs have also committed to regular and public checks with an evaluation process consistent with the best practice approach used by public bodies, including the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), HM Treasury and UK Evaluation Society.
As part of the announcement today there is a £10M grant from the betting industry for two charities, Gamcare and Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust as part of a four-year national programme to educate young people regarding responsible gambling issues.
These pledges are signed off by the Chief Executives of the leading UK betting companies including Bet365, William Hill, GVC Group, Sky Betting & Gaming and come at a difficult time for the industry which is facing the prospect of yet more regulation.
The announcement has gone down well with Tim Miller Executive Director at the UK Gambling Commission who commented: “We have been encouraged by moves across the industry in recent months to work together on player protection and hope that this programme marks another step forward by gambling companies in delivering on the ambitions in the National Strategy.”
Earlier this week an interim report from the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) recommended that the same £2 limit that now applies to FOBT’s in UK betting shops should also be applied to online slots games – a move that would have a huge effect on the profitability of UK betting companies.
Also today a new representative body for the UK’s betting and gaming industry has been launched to represent betting shops, online casinos and other online gaming businesses. The Betting and Gaming Council is committed to creating a culture of safer gambling and, increasing support for treatment for those suffering gambling harm, and further strengthening the industry codes of practice.