Industry five request independent committee on safer gambling funds

Five of the UK’s largest betting operators have issued a request to safer gambling advocate Lord Chadlington 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. 

A spokesperson for the five companies commented: “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.”

Following the request of the five operators, 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.

Lord Chadlington added: “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.”

Membership to the committee will be confirmed in September, with recommendations of fund allocation strategies to be finalised before the end of the 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.