UK Betting’s ‘Top-5’ establishes independent committee on responsibility expenditures

The Leadership of UK betting’s five biggest incumbents – GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Sky Bet have tasked Lord Chadlington (Peter Selwyn Gummer) with chairing an ‘independent committee’ on safer gambling expenditures.

Advancing UK betting’s social responsibility agenda, the ‘top-5’ bookmakers will establish a committee overseeing ‘how to best administer funds’, attached to the companies’ new safer gambling pledge, which seeks to raise £100 million problem gambling treatment funding by 2023.

A member of the House of Lords since 1996, Lord Chadlington the founder of UK legacy PR firm Shandwick, has been amongst the most vocal campaigners for expanding UK problem gambling treatment, and improving the industry’s relationship with UK health networks.

“Lord Chadlington has been asked by the group to establish and chair a Committee to define the most appropriate mechanism for receiving and administering funds and for monitoring their deployment. Membership of the committee will be announced in September 2019 and it will publish its recommendations before the end of the year. Lord Chadlington and the other appointed members of the committee will not be remunerated.” – reads a combined statement sent by the betting groups.

The £100 million pledge will see the betting groups commit to raising their voluntary contributions on safer gambling measures to 1% of gross gambling yield (GGY) by 2023.

In addition, the top-5 operators have committed to sharing data on problem gambling customers, helping support the foundation of UK gambling’s new GAMSTOP self-exclusion programme.

Backing operator directives, Lord Chadlington said: “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.”

Moving forward, the betting groups are set to publish ‘assurance statements’, on funding and social responsibility directives, which will be provided to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

This August, sees UK betting commit to its ‘self-enforced whistle-to-whistle’ advertising ban overseen by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG).

The voluntary enforcement sees all TV betting adverts banned during pre-watershed live sport, starting five minutes before the event begins and ending five minutes after it finishes

Issuing a  combined statement, “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.”