Prominent members of the UK’s betting industry have put their minds together to come up with five new gambling measures that they are looking to enforce in the very near future.
The measures were assembled by 10 of the leading gambling operators in the United Kingdom, such as Bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, Sky Betting and Gaming, Rank Group, Playtech, Genting, Caesars and Aspers.
A joint statement that was released by the 10 operators calls the pledges as “the most comprehensive set of measures from a wide group of leaders across the sector to support the UK Gambling Commission’s national strategy to reduce gambling harms”.
The five pledges would be monitored independently and reported on in a public manner. They aim to:
1. Protect young people and prevent underage gambling
2. Provide more support for gambling harm treatment
3. Expand and strengthen the marketing and advertising codes of practice
4. Empower and protect all customers
5. Promote an overall safer gambling culture
The gambling companies worked the aforementioned measures through an industry-funded party — the Senet Group. The objective of this body is to elevate industry standards and support the work of the UK Gambling Commission to make services fairer and safer for gamblers. Previous Senet Group campaigns were met with a lot of criticism for being ineffective.
One of the initial moves that would be acted on would be the creation of a national program to educate young people about the risk and dangers involved in gambling. The program has received £10m (or $12.9m) in funding from the betting firms and is set to initially function for the next four years. It would be operated by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust and GamCare charities.
There would also be new codes of conduct established for the operations of affiliate and direct marketing, as well as sponsorships.
The five pledges were issued as a direct response to the release of an interim report by a group of MPs earlier this week, which asked for sweeping overhauls to the gambling sector. Among other measures, the report strongly suggested curtailing the maximum stake on online casino games to £2 (or $2.58).
Gambling firms lost as much as £1.2bn (or $1.55 billion) in share value after the release of the report. The industry admitted that this new moment is an effort by the companies to self-regulate before the government enacts tougher measures.