UK Gambling Firms Agree to Five Safer Gambling Measures

  • Ten of the biggest UK gambling companies agreed on five new commitments
  • Measures created in response to drastic recommendations by MPs to alter gambling industry
  • Pledges will be monitored independently and reported on publicly
  • Plans include multimillion national program to educate young people about gambling dangers
Two red dice suspended
Ten gambling firms have compiled five pledges to promote safer gambling in the UK following MPs’ calls for drastic industry overhauls earlier this week. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Ten major operators involved

Key players in the UK’s betting industry have come together to draw up five new safer gambling measures they will be looking to implement.

The measures were compiled by ten of the biggest gambling operators in the United Kingdom, namely Bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, Sky Betting and Gaming, Rank Group, Playtech, Genting, Caesars and Aspers. 

the most comprehensive set of measures from a wide group of leaders across the sector”

A joint statement from the ten operators describes 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 safer gambling pledges

The five pledges will be monitored independently and reported on in a public manner. They aim to:

  • Protect young people and prevent underage gambling
  • Provide more support for gambling harm treatment
  • Expand and strengthen the marketing and advertising codes of practice
  • Empower and protect all customers
  • Promote an overall safer gambling culture
The gambling companies developed the said measures through an industry-funded party, the Senet Group. The goal of this body is to raise industry standards and support the work of the UK Gambling Commission to make services fairer and safer for gamblers. Previous Senet Group campaigns have been criticized for being ineffective.

One of the first moves will be the creation of a national program to educate young people about the dangers of gambling. The program has received £10m ($12.9m) in funding from the betting companies and is set to initially run for four years. It will be operated by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust and GamCare charities.

a national program to educate young people about the dangers of gambling

There will also be new codes of conduct in place for the operations of affiliate and direct marketing, as well as sponsorships. 

A response to MPs’ interim report

The five pledges were issued in response to the release of an interim report by a group of MPs earlier this week, which calls for drastic overhauls to the gambling sector. Among other measures, the report recommends curtailing the maximum stake on online casino games to £2 ($2.58). 

Gambling companies lost as much as £1.2bn ($1.55bn) in share value following the release of the report. The industry has admitted that this new moment is an effort by the companies to self-regulate before the government enacts tougher measures. 

Reactions to the new commitments

The CEO of Flutter Entertainment, Peter Jackson, said: “These commitments are an important step forward for the sector in their own right and also signal a genuine desire to ensure that acting responsibly is at the heart of our businesses.”

The UK Gambling Commission has also given its support for these new pledges. Executive director Tim Miller was pleased to see further collaboration among industry players to help tackle gambling harm issues. 

He spoke about the encouraging moves in recent months initiated by the industry to ensure players are better protected. Miller hopes “this program marks another step forward by gambling companies in delivering on the ambitions in the National Strategy.”

The creation of a new industry representative body

The industry pledges were announced alongside the launch of the Betting and Gaming Council in the UK. This new representative body for the industry will be looking after the likes of online gaming, casinos, and betting industries. Its aim is to create a safe, enjoyable, and fair betting environment for everyone.