The big five in UK sports betting, namely Bet365, Paddy Power-owner Flutter, Ladbrokes-owner GVC, Sky Betting and Gaming and William Hill, have agreed to increase the amount the pledge to fund research and treatment into responsible gambling.
The companies – Bet365, Paddy Power-owner Flutter, Ladbrokes-owner GVC, Sky Betting and Gaming and William Hill – have agreed the proposals after discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The increase from 0.1 per cent of their gross gambling yield to one per cent by 2023 will see an increase of £60m in funding support by 2023, a level that the funding will remain at in the future.
Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Flutter, representing all five gambling companies, said: “This is an unprecedented level of commitment and collaboration by the leading companies in the British betting and gaming sector to address gambling-related harm and promote safer gambling.
“The whistle-to-whistle advertising ban was a good start, now we are funding a significant expansion in treatment and we continue to work on a number of areas of collaboration and best practice. Our aim is nothing less than a step change in how we tackle gambling-related harm.”
Tom Watson, the Shadow digital, culture, media and sport secretary, welcomed the commitment.
He said: “Some companies contribute amounts which are, frankly, insulting to a voluntary system. A mandatory levy is the only way to provide the structure and consistent funding that a proper system of research, education, and treatment needs, with the NHS at the heart of the process.”
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Wright added: “We do not take off the table a mandatory levy, particularly for those companies who are not prepared to proceed on a voluntary basis on the way these five now are. The Government reserves the right to pursue a mandatory route to funding if a voluntary one does not prove effective. These voluntary contributions must and will be transparent, including to the regulator, and if they are not made we will know. This is a clear financial commitment from industry to addressing the harms that can come from gambling. We will expect the rest of the industry to match them.”