Five of the industry’s big guns have called upon safer gambling advocate Lord Chadlington to chair an independent committee which will seek to address the administration of funds towards safer gambling initiatives, including the treatment of problem gambling.
Bet365, Flutter Entertainment, GVC Holdings, Sky Betting and Gaming, and William Hill have called for an independent committee to be chaired in order to address the matter.
Lord Chadlington, who has accepted the invitation, commented: “The committee will consult widely to formulate its recommendations taking account in particular of the views of government, regulators, the third sector, gambling operators and those with lived experience.
“I am pleased to accept the invitation to chair this committee particularly as the five gambling companies are committed to implementing any reasonable recommendations it may make. I will announce the membership of the committee by mid-September.”
Lord Chadlington has been asked to both establish and chair a committee to set out definitions on the most appropriate mechanism for receiving and administering funds and for monitoring their deployment.
Membership to the committee will be addressed next month, with further plans to make recommendations pertaining to fund allocation before the end of the year.
A spokesperson for the five companies added: “We are absolutely committed to providing further funding toward treatment and other responsible gambling initiatives, and we believe the committee will identify and recommend how best to deploy effectively this investment.
“We believe this is an important step towards creating a safer gambling environment and look forward to reviewing and implementing its recommendations later this year.”
The news follows on from the five companies setting out their commitment to raise their voluntary contributions from 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent of gross gambling yield by 2023. It is expected that this jump in contributions will raise a cumulative total of approximately £100 million over the four years, and approximately £60 million annually thereafter.
The five companies outlined four key areas in which the additional funding will be distributed: treatment; advertising; transparency; and data sharing.
Part of the initiatives also concern advertising in the gambling industry, with the five companies also having agreed to boost the number of safer gambling messages across advertisements. This will include supporting dedicated campaigns, and reviewing the overall tone and content of all marketing, advertising and sponsorship deals.
The companies will support advertising technology, where it exists, to divert messages from problem gamblers.