The Betting and Gaming Council has written a letter in response to an NHS press release.
National Mental Health Director
Mental Health Team
3rd floor, Skipton House
80 London Road
15 January 2020
Thank you for your letter to the Chief Executives of GVC, Flutter, William Hill, BetFred and bet365 regarding gambling and mental health.
We take our responsibility to our customers incredibly seriously and we are determined to raise standards and improve safer gambling. The points that you raise are important. Just some of the work our members have already done includes new age-verification checks, increased funding for research, education and treatment, introduced a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising, worked together as an industry to create GamStop which will now be mandatory for all operators, created monitoring algorithms to monitor play both online and in retail to help identify those at risk of harmful play and just last week waived exclusivity on FA Cup games. We are also working on affordability checks, AdTech to block adverts and calling on search engines to block adverts from non-UK licenced operators advertising using help search terms.
We have also announced Safer Gambling Commitments which represent a set of measures to deliver long-term and fundamental changes in how gambling companies are run in the UK and how they empower, protect and support their customers. The five core safer gambling Commitments are targeted to: 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.
We are currently working with a range of stakeholders on safer gambling initiatives therefore it would be good to understand in greater detail your experience, knowledge and concerns and how we may address them.
On behalf of the Chief Executives I would very much like to invite you to meet with us at the earliest opportunity to discuss your concerns, what we are doing to raise standards in our industry and to ensure safer gambling.
My office will be in contact with you to find a date to meet at the earliest opportunity.
Brigid Simmonds OBE
cc: Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Gambling Commission
cc: Kenny Alexander, GVC
Peter Jackson, Flutter
Fred Done, BetFred
John Coates, bet365
Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill