Whether it’s too late in coming, it has at least finally come. The leading bookmakers have made good on their promise to raise their contribution to funding problem gambling bodies. The big five bookies have pledged to raise £100m over the next four years.
The UK’s biggest bookmakers have agreed to increase their collective funding for problem gambling treatment to £100m over the next four years.
The owners of Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Skybet, William Hill and Bet 365 have confirmed that they will increase their voluntary levy on gambling profits from 0.1 percent to 1 percent.
“This is an unprecedented level of commitment and collaboration by the leading companies in the British betting and gaming sector to address gambling- related harm and promote safer gambling” commented Peter Jackson, chief executive of Flutter Entertainment, the holding company behind Paddy Power Betfair.
“The whistle-to-whistle advertising ban [announced earlier this year] was a good start, now we are funding a significant expansion in treatment and we continue to work on a number of areas of collaboration and best practice. Our aim is nothing less than a step change in how we tackle gambling-related harm.”
GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches told the BBC: “We welcome this initiative by the leading operators as it’s essential there is sufficient funding to provide for treatment and support for both problem gamblers and for those who are ‘at risk’ – particularly the young and vulnerable.
“Customers should be able to gamble in a safe environment, where help and advice is readily available at the point of need.
“It is vital that we work closely with the Commission, government and other organisations to ensure that operators continue to focus on making gambling products safer, and that treatment and support is properly funded alongside other initiatives including the Safer Gambling campaign, Bet Regret.”
The increased contribution from Britain’s biggest betting firms comes at a time when media coverage of problem gambling has scarcely been higher. In addition to the voluntary levy the companies pledged to make safe gambling messages more prominent in their promotional marketing material.