Five of Britain’s leading betting and gaming companies – bet365, Flutter Entertainment (owner of Paddy Power and Betfair), GVC (owner of Ladbrokes Coral), Sky Betting and Gaming, and William Hill – have asked Lord Chadlington, a vocal campaigner on safer gambling, to chair an independent committee that will recommend how best to administer funds committed to safer gambling initiatives, including the treatment of problem gambling.
The group of companies recently made a commitment to raise their voluntary contribution to safer gambling measures to 1% of gross gambling yield (GGY). This will involve an initial increase from 0.1% to 0.25% in 2020, rising in equal instalments to 1% by 2023 – a cumulative total of approximately £100 million over the four years, and approximately £60 million annually thereafter. They also hope that other gambling companies will join them in this endeavour.
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. The companies will meet any necessary administrative expenditure.
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.”
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.”