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UK’s Top Betting Firms Volunteer an Extra Funds Towards Problem Gambling

by Glenn Baird - June 19, 2019

UK betting companies William Hill, Coral Ladbroke, Skybet Betfair, Paddy Power and Bet 365 have sat round the table again and agreed on increasing the voluntary levy they established last year from 0.1% of total profits to 1% of total profits over the next 5 years.

The big betting groups in the UK got together last year amidst a sea of growing hostility within the British press and pledged to generate their own levy to help support problem gambling in the country. That agreement saw £10 million raised for the cause in a year, a figure that could reach 10 times that amount each year when the new levy is in place.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State at the DCMS, said: “I want the gambling industry to step up on social responsibility and keep their players safe, including through making more funding available for research, education and treatment to tackle problem gambling.

“I have met the major players in the sector recently and my department is in discussions with them on a strong package to increase their financial contribution, as well as make meaningful commitments on other measures to help ensure people gamble safely.

“Protecting people and their families from the risks of gambling-related harm is a priority for this government and I am encouraged that the sector now recognises that they need to do more.”

A representative for the companies involved said:

“We will continue to engage on the issues and will consult with all relevant stakeholders on this to understand how best to achieve our shared aim of minimising the impact of gambling-related harm.”

Adam Bradford, a spokesperson from Safer Online Gambling campaign group said:

“We need constructive work undertaken to change industry culture and put the safety and wellbeing of addicts at the forefront of all business practices.

“The industry, particularly the digital gambling market, needs to look at the tone and frequency of its advertising, its deceptive incentives and the way it is allowing those showing signs of addiction to continue playing.”