Executives of bet365, Betsson, Entain, Kindred, and William Hill, have united to outline a collective ambition of fostering a stronger culture of safer gambling across Europe’s online gambling sector.
John Coates, joint CEO of bet365, Jesper Svensson, CEO of Betsson, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred, and Patrick Jonker, CEO of Mr Green and managing director of William Hill, have made the pledge in the European Gaming and Betting Association’s Sustainability Report 2020/21.
“Our objective is simple: we want all customers to have a safe and fun online gambling experience where they play within their means and consider gambling for what it is – a great form of entertainment,” the quintet stated in a joint letter.
Before stressing a belief that “as leading companies of Europe’s online gambling sector, we have a responsibility to take the lead in fostering a stronger culture of safer gambling across our sector”.
Furthermore, the five also issued a black market warning, commenting that “in an increasingly interconnected digital world, we believe that a well-functioning and well-regulated licensed market is the best solution” to combat such threats.
“We believe it is our responsibility to provide our customers with information and innovative tools to help them to gamble safely,” the letter continues.
“We particularly strive to support those customers who find it difficult to manage their gambling activity. With all the knowledge available today, we have never been in a better position to ensure gambling stays enjoyable for everyone.
“Along with greater cooperation across the sector and with regulatory authorities, we are convinced that the use of predictive modelling, the latest innovations in technology and greater access to data will help operators to raise the bar and reduce harmful gambling.”
Acknowledging that “there are clearly still some obstacles along the way in achieving our collective ambition,” the CEOs affirm that ensuring regulatory frameworks need to be incentivised through regulations which cater for a competitive market, and where rogue behaviour by operators is discouraged and punished.
“As representatives of the licensed industry, we wish to support and promote a wider discussion about safer gambling and how we can ensure that both our customers and other citizens are protected from harm,” the five continue.
“Reducing the prevalence of harmful gambling in society requires a fact-based, open and constructive dialogue in and outside our ecosystem, including with licensed operators, game developers, regulators, policy makers, payment providers, health experts, treatment professionals and experts by experience. And working collaboratively with them all.”
Adding: “Our collective ambition is to foster a strong culture of sustainable gambling across our industry, one that strives to innovate and exceed expectations, and which supports a sustainable and long-term regulatory framework for the sector.
“Because one customer harmed from gambling is one too many, there cannot be any other alternative. We want all customers to have a safe and fun online gambling experience where they play within their means and consider gambling for what it is – a great form of entertainment.”