Great Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) called operators involved with sports sponsorship to also promote the importance of safer gambling.
UK.- According to Great Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a further push to promote safer gambling must go “hand in hand” with bookmakers’ sponsorship of sports such as football, racing and darts.
Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive, said it was crucial for his members to continue to highlight the importance of safer gambling with the UK government’s review into the 2005 Gambling Act set to become clearer this year.
Facts indicate that BGC members each year provide horse racing with £350m (€417m/$471m) in sponsorship, media rights and levy payments, while £40m is spent on sponsorship across the English Football League (EFL), £10m on darts and snooker and a further £2.5m in rugby union.
While this financial support has proved vital during the coronavirus pandemic, it also highlighted the importance of the work its members do to help promote safer gambling among fans and sports stars, said the BGC.
Several initiatives have already been encouraged by BGC members around safer gambling,. This includes ensuring that 20 per cent of television and radio adverts are on the subject, the £10m Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme delivered by GamCare and the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust.
This is in addition to a new code of conduct for football clubs on social media preventing the creation of posts linking to gambling websites.
“Our members are proud to provide financial support to sport in a variety of ways, but it’s also important that this goes hand-in-hand with our work on promoting safer gambling,” Dugher said.
“Around 30 million people in Britain – half the population – enjoy a flutter, and the vast majority do so safely.
“As we wait for the Government to publish its Gambling White Paper, I hope that promoting safer gambling continues to be an integral part of the betting and gaming industry’s commitment to supporting sport.”
Two years of progress on corporate social responsibility
In December 2021, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) published a report highlighting the advances in corporate social responsibility (CSR) among regulated gaming operators in the UK. It includes local community activities, environmental programmes and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Noting that BGC members have supported 119,000 jobs and generated £4.5bn in taxes in the past two years, it stressed that members also work with sports and governing bodies to promote safer gambling and with gaming and hospitality trade associations to promote areas of common interest.
Specific actions highlighted in the report include a £10m donation from the Denise Coates Foundation (Bet365) to University Hospital of Northern Midlands, a £100m pledge to CSR initiatives from the Entain Foundation and £10m provided by BGC members for the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, which is delivered by GamCare and YGAM.
It also noted Flutter’s £5m project to support grassroots sports clubs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, plus donations of almost £3m to NHS Charities Together and £1.25m to Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, the armed forces charities and Care Radio.