The UK gambling sector has made five commitments to safer gambling, as the industry is trying to avoid stricter new regulations which the country’s Government is considering to impose.
The announcement has been made after some media reports that some of the British gambling giants lost almost £1.2 billion in their share value following the calls of an all-party parliamentary group that called for stricter regulation for online gambling, too. The commitment also follows the wave of strong criticism faced by betting operators that they have failed to take the possible negative consequences that could be brought to their customers into account.
So, the chief executives of ten of the most popular gambling companies in the UK – including GVC Holdings, bet365 and William Hill – confirmed the commitments and described them as the most complex and extensive set of measures that are to be taken from a large group of gambling industry leaders to support the national strategy of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to tackle spreading gambling-related harm.
The operators pledged that they would make sure no underage individuals are allowed to access their services and young people would be protected. They also promised to boost their support for gambling-related harm treatment and promote a culture of safer gambling. The gambling companies further noted they would work to bolster and expand codes of practice for gambling advertising, and said they intended to protect and empower their customers. These five pledges are set to be subject to public reports and independent monitoring.
Raising Young People Awareness of Gambling-Related Risks Is Among the Top Priorities
As mentioned above, the commitments that have been made by the betting firms are aimed at raising standards in the sector are aimed at raising the sector’s standards and support the work done by the UKGC to only make gambling services safer and fairer for local customers. This also includes responsible gambling messages.
Previous efforts made by the group of gambling companies, however, have been criticised after no significant effect was noticed on the players’ gambling behaviour. After this, the group has reconsidered its campaign.
One of the first actions which have been announced as part of the new policy is a four-year national programme aimed at educating young people. The programme is set to be delivered in collaboration between the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust and GamCare. Some of the largest gambling operators have become part of the initiative and pledged to provide £10 million to fund the initiative.
The two charity organisations plan to work with young people and their families and to raise awareness about the risks associated with gambling. New codes of conduct regarding direct and affiliate marketing, as well as sponsorship activities, is set to be unveiled.
Some of the other participants in the new initiatives are Sky betting & Gaming, Rank Group, Playtech, Caesars, Aspers and Genting.