GVC Holdings Leads Charge for Greater Social Responsibility

Chief executive of GVC Holdings Kenneth Alexander is taking the bull by the proverbial horns in an effort to improve social responsibility standards across the gaming industry.

Kenneth Alexander GVC

GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander has committed to investing more into social responsibility. (Image: GVC/PA)

In the wake of deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson calling for a reduction in the number of gambling adverts on TV, Alexander has said that some sort of ban should be in place. Commenting on the company’s plans in an October 9 press release, the GVC chief have said he’s ready to see a ban on gambling averts before the 9pm watershed.

Getting Back On Track

Referring specifically to content surrounding football, Alexander admitted that things had got “out of hand” and something needs to give.

“Most people in the gambling industry think there are far too many ads. We should make the changes collaboratively with the rest of the industry, which might be difficult, and ultimately it’s up to the government to decide if they want to legislate or not,” Alexander said.

The call to arms comes as the parent company of Ladbrokes Coral announced a new series of social responsibility initiatives. The four-pronged approach starts with a push to reduce the number of gambling adverts and includes a variety of more direct measures to help address problem gambling.

For its part, GVC will partner with academic researchers to help improve our understanding of problem gambling markers. From this, GVC will improve its own algorithms and, in turn, help raise standards across the board.

Investing Millions in Change

In addition to investing in research, the gaming operator will invest £500,000 in a UK-wide Youth Outreach Programme to support and prevent addiction in youngsters. Finally, GVC will spend £4 million on responsible gambling measures, which is twice the amount recommended by UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) guidelines.

“As a leader in the industry, we fully recognise the need to ensure we do everything we can to ensure an enjoyable experience for our players that minimises the potential to cause harm,” Alexander continued.

The last two years has seen lobbyist groups and members of parliament ramp up the pressure on gaming companies to do more in the way of social responsibility. Supporting these calls for change, the UKGC has taken direct action against operators that are failing.

888 was hit with a record fine for failing vulnerable customers, but that’s just the tip of an ever-growing iceberg. With the UKGC taking a tougher stance, more fines are likely unless operators react accordingly.

In light of this, GVC will lead the charge in a bid to avoid any issues of its own and, in turn, encourage its peers to follow suit and improve the gaming industry for everyone.

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