Some of the UK’s biggest operators are joining forces on a new trade group that’s set on combating a wave of anti-gambling laws by better addressing the problem of problem gambling. The operators will be operating under the banner of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). The BGC itself represents a merging of the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers, which will no longer operate as independent bodies.
BGC members include top executives from Aspers, bet365, Caesars, Flutter Entertainment (Paddy Power Betfair), Genting, GVC (LadbrokesCoral), Playtech, Rank Group, Sky Betting & Gaming and William Hill. These are all operators who have seen their bottom lines impacted by a wave of new gambling regulations that include a £2 maximum stake on video betting terminals, including slot machines.
At the core of the BGC’s mission is a pledge to combat problem gambling through a series of five commitments which include:
Prevent underage gambling and protect young people; Increase support for treatment of gambling harm; Strengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketing; Protect and empower our customers and; Promote a culture of safer gambling.
As part of their efforts to get the word out about their new organization and commitments, the BGC is launching a four-year campaign to raise awareness about problem gambling.
In a statement from the group, Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council, said, “I am delighted to be launching the Betting and Gaming Council and to welcome these commitments from the chief executives. The commitments are a major step towards preventing underage gambling and addressing harm. Working together as an industry we will create a culture of safer gambling – increasing the competency of professionals who educate young people, increasing support for treatment, strengthening and expanding codes of practice and empowering consumers.”
Whether or not the BGC’s efforts to stem the wave of anti-gambling legislation in the UK remains to be seen.