operators enforcing proactive player protections at online casino
If I told you
Britain’s largest gambling companies are voluntarily spending untold
resources to better protect the UK’s internet players, would you
believe me? I suppose you would, considering the headline to this
article, but if you’ve been following the UK Gambling Commission‘s
relentless issuance of non-compliance fines, you’ll at least be
surprised by it.
Well, it’s true.
The UK’s ‘Big Five‘ are responsible for a non-profit
committee that’s working in tandem to promote proactive player
protections throughout the region’s internet gambling market. They’ve
already secured Lord Chadlington as Chairman of the committee, and
are hoping to fill the rest of the board’s seats in September.
Protecting Players at UK’s Online Casino Websites
For months now,
we’ve been hearing that the UK is cracking down on operators who fail
to protect their players. The UKGC has been tightening up its laws
and handing out fines in the 6- to 7-figure range. The message:
Protect your players and stop contributing to potential money
laundering, or pay the price!
Now the region’s
largest iGaming operators – most of which have been hit by these
fines at some point or another – are teaming up to help resolve the
problem. Before I go on, the UK’s Big Five are:
Entertainment (Paddy Power Betfair)
Betting and Gaming
For ease of
authoring, I will henceforth refer to their collaboration as B5C,
short for the Big 5 Committee.
Heading up this
committee is English businessman and long-standing supporter of the
Conservative Party, Peter Selwyn Gummer, Baron Baron Chadlington
FCIPR FIoD FCinstM FRSA (a.k.a. Lord Chadlington). He is not being
paid for his position on the committee, nor will any other members
the Big Five expect to have fully appointed by mid-September.
primary goal at the moment is to come up with a plan as to the best
way to allocate funds for responsible gambling, and for the
prevention and treatment of problem gambling. As Lord Chadlington
“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.”
Source of Funds and Intended Usage
As I said, this
committee isn’t being paid, and the administrative costs are all
being covered by their Big 5 sponsors. So where is all this money
they intend to allocate coming from? They’ll be footing that bill, as
initiative by the same set of iGaming operations concluded that they
all need to ramp up their contributions to player protection. As
such, they’ve each committed to raise their voluntary contribution of
0.1% of net revenue up to 1% by 2023. That’s a voluntary 10x
increase, and one they hope will prompt their colleagues at other UK
licensed iGaming operations to do the same.
Even if others
do not follow suit, the B5C estimates their combined contributions
will total £60 million by 2023. Each brand is expected to broaden
its social responsibility awareness programs, provide the committee
with updates on improvements to player safety, and share data
regarding problem gamblers and the results of their initiatives.
Whistle-to-Whistle Ban on Sports Betting Ads
On August 1, the
Big Five announced yet another initiative to cease all marketing
during live sporting events. From start to finish – whistle to
whistle – the companies will not air a single ad for their gambling
products. GVC took it a step farther, calling for a complete blackout
on broadcast ads, as well as an end to sponsorship logos on team
Paddy Power was quick to jump aboard that band wagon, initiating the
‘Save Our Shirt‘ campaign. In genuine Paddy Power style, they
started by making a public mockery of sports jersey logos, releasing
striped uniforms with their own Paddy Power brand plastered across it
like a princess sash.
It was so
believable, considering the source, some fans actually bought the
shirts! Just as the media was preparing to throttle Paddy Power for
its usual gaudiness, the company called announced the hoax, told
everyone the real reason for its campaign, and assured all who had
purchased the shirts would receive free replacements of the real
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