UK’s big four make gambling treatment pledge

The four firms have pledged to increase contributions to research and treatment.
The four firms have pledged to increase contributions to research and treatment.

The UK’s four biggest gambling operators have pledged to dedicate £100million to improving treatment.

UK.- The country’s four biggest gambling operators bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter (through PaddyPower, Betfair and Sky Betting and Gaming) and William Hill have promised to dedicate £100million to improving treatment support services via support group GambleAware.

The pledge forms part of operators’ promise to increase funding contributions to research, education and treatment (RET) from 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent over the next three years.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment, said: “GambleAware has a long track record in commissioning treatment services and working with providers for the benefit of problem gamblers.

“Through the provision of this unprecedented level of financial support, we aim to achieve a step-change in the treatment and counselling available to those experiencing gambling-related harm.

“As an industry, we are taking significant strides to build in further protections for customers. 

“From increasing safer gambling messages in response to Covid-19, to a £10million nationwide education initiative targeting all 11-19 years olds across the country, we are creating a safer environment for our customers while devoting resources to protecting the vulnerable and under-age.”

The Betting and Gaming Council has said that an additional £2.5million would be made available this year to new educational programmes run by YGAM and GamCare, while £3.8million will be given to the BetRegret 2020 advertising campaign to promote safer gambling.

BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, said: “This latest funding commitment is yet more evidence of the industry’s determination to improve the quality and provision of treatment for problem gamblers – and of our members’ eagerness to get on with it as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile the BGC has announced that 13 betting brands are joining an initiative to donate profits to charity on Gold Cup Day, the biggest betting day at the Royal Ascot horse racing meeting.

Participating brands will donate all wins and each-way profits from the heritage handicap Britannia Stakes to Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.

Participating bookmakers include Paddy Power Betfair, bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Sky Bet, Betway, BetVictor, Kindred Group, Grosvenor Sport, Virgin Bet, Fitzdares, Genting Bet and JenningsBet.

Alastair Warwick, Chief Operating Officer at Ascot Racecourse, said: “This is a tremendous gesture from so many of the powerhouses of the betting world.

“After the success of the Virtual Grand National initiative, we are thrilled that the betting industry has chosen to follow up at Royal Ascot and to complement our own fundraising initiatives for those on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The BGC recently announced it would ensure that 20 per cent of members’ adverts were safer gambling messages.

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