UK Betting Firms Pledge £100 Million to Tackle Problem Gambling

UK betting and gaming companies have pledged to increase their charitable donations in effort to raise £100 million for problem gambling.

UK betting companies

The largest UK betting operators have pledged to donate £100 million per year to tackle problem gambling. (Image: The Sure Bettor)

News of the change was first reported by the BBC. As per a letter obtained by the media network, William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet and bet365 have all pledged to increase their contributions.

Letter of Intent from UK Betting Firms

Outlining their plans to the Department for Media Culture and Sport, the UK betting firms will raise the bar from 0.01 percent to 1 percent. Although the change won’t be immediate, it will up the annual aid to £100 million within the next five years.

When that happens, the level of support for problem gambling by UK betting operators will be 10X what it is now. What’s more, the five-year-plan will exceed the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) £70 million recommended levy.

At this stage, a formal plan hasn’t been put into place. However, when the voluntary levy does increase, it will be another move by UK betting firms to help consumers.

With the UKGC applying pressure to raise standards, the top operators have been forced to take problem gambling more seriously. Although player safety was always a licensing condition, the big brands are now going above and beyond.

Industry Players Step Up for Players

In January, GVC Holdings partnered with Harvard Medical School to better understand the issue of problem gambling. Along similar lines, Sky Bet’s Richard Flint called on his peers to address the issue rather than ignore it.

For its part, the government has also taken steps to raise awareness and treat those affected. In her 2019 NHS plan, Prime Minster Theresa May said some of £20 billion available would be used to set up gambling clinics.

While anti-gambling advocates insist even more needs to be done, the latest news will reflect well on the industry.

Indeed, with fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) casting a negative light on the industry in recent years, any proactive behaviour will be seen as a positive. Even though UK betting firms may still come under fire for other issues, there’s a clear effort to make problem gambling a top priority.

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