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UK – GVC announces ten pledges for safer gambling during pandemic

By - 31 March 2020

GVC Holdings, owners of bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds International and Sportingbet; Games Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino, has followed up responsible gambling safeguards put forward by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), with 10 pledges of its own to ensure a safer betting environment during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

GVC said: “With up to a quarter of the global population in some form of lock-down, there is a clear risk that house-bound individuals may become isolated, depressed or be in financial distress. GVC recognises the additional risk this presents and is deeply aware of its own responsibility to protect vulnerable customers from seeking to solve financial problems through gambling, or from developing other problem gambling behaviours.”

GVC said it would embark on proactive communication with all its customers in all territories, to remind them to gamble responsibly and direct them to the group’s suite of safer gambling tools. Through these tools, customers are encouraged to set deposit and time limits as well as enabling them to self-exclude from the Group’s sites altogether. In the coming weeks the Group will introduce further tools including curfew setting, stake limit setting on slot games, and reverse withdrawal settings.
The addition of two new Markers of Harm (MoH) indicators to the Group’s safer gambling algorithm, enabling the identification of potentially problematic gambling behaviour at an earlier stage. The additional MoHs will specifically review player behaviour pre and post home isolation. In the event that increased-risk behaviour is identified, a sliding scale of interventions will be initiated, which ultimately may result in the suspension or closing of accounts.

It will display more responsible gambling messaging on its homepage and throughout all sites, with a new page providing dedicated advice on keeping betting sensible and enjoyable during the current crisis.

GVC gaming brands will run responsible gambling-led, multi-channel advertising and marketing campaigns to promote responsible gambling to customers while they enjoy time on their sites.

Specific guidance and restrictions mandated to all affiliates preventing them from referencing the pandemic or encouraging excessive play due to boredom or isolation. This advice will include a specific blacklist of banned terms.

GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander said: “At this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we are more committed than ever to keeping our customers safe while they enjoy our products. We are hugely sensitive to the potential for increased risk for some who are isolated at home or may have financial difficulties with reduced access to work. Our enhanced tools give customers the power to manage their spending and time in an effective way, and we are backing this up by carefully monitoring play through our markers of harm. As an industry, we have a clear responsibility to protect the vulnerable and we warmly welcome the coordinated approach announced today by the BGC which provides a template for strengthening player protections.”

Caption: Kenneth Alexander

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