VC Holdings said it welcomes the publication of Thursday’s report of the UK House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee into the social and economic dimensions of gambling, calling for stake limits, a slowdown of online play, and a ban on gambling advertising around sports, including on soccer teams’ shirts. GVC also released Thursday the findings of a new national poll, which provides evidence of the broad support gambling enjoys as a legitimate leisure activity amongst the British public.
The survey of 2,000 Britons, conducted in May 2020, finds that nearly 80% of regular gamblers see betting as part of the leisure industry, and two-thirds (60%) of respondents support an individual’s freedom of choice to gamble.
The poll also found that 7 in 10 people participate in some form of gambling (69%); half the population (48%) is concerned that overregulation could drive customers to the black market; only 8% of non-gamblers were definitely aware of industry responsible gambling measures; both gamblers (55%) and non-gamblers (31%) believed that gamblers themselves should decide what they can afford to bet, rather than banks, gambling companies, or the government.
Coinciding with the Committee’s report, GVC has also today released the findings of a new national poll, which provides evidence of the broad support gambling enjoys as a legitimate leisure activity amongst the British public: https://t.co/0BoYEQq4r1 (2/2) pic.twitter.com/WQLZuLlD3D— GVC Holdings PLC (@GVCHoldings) July 2, 2020
“We fully support the recommendation to bring forward the UK Government’s Review of the Gambling Act and we will play a full and active role in this process,” Kenny Alexander, GVC’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a release. “I’m also glad to see detailed recommendations for a triennial review of the Gambling Commission, the licensing of affiliates, and the need for more research into problem gambling – particularly as claims around the scale of the issue frequently bear no resemblance at all to the independent research already available.”
“I am however concerned by the findings of our own research which highlights the lack of awareness amongst the general public of the numerous and sophisticated tools GVC and the industry have introduced to put control where it belongs: in the hands of our customers,” Alexander added. “We have to do a better job of communicating that, because those who are implacably opposed to gambling as a matter of principle are actively seeking to damage the industry through onerous regulation, which will ultimately drive customers into the hands of the unregulated black market. It is important that all stakeholders work together to keep gambling effectively regulated for all parties.”
A number of principles within the report are already reflected in GVC’s safer gambling strategy, “Changing for the Bettor,” which in general terms include a reduction in the amount of gambling advertising; enhanced funding for research into problem gambling; and ensuring children and vulnerable people are protected.
GVC also highlighted its approach to use data-driven technology, such as market-leading algorithms, to monitor betting behaviour, enabling its responsible gambling teams to intervene and prevent problems from developing. The company said that many of these measures are not known to members of the general public who do not bet, and that “leads to a knee-jerk support in favour of more government regulation on every issue.”