lutter Entertainment, which owns the Paddy Power, Poker Stars, Betfair and Sky Bet brands, confirmed on Thursday that it has appointed Tom Watson, former Labour Party Deputy Leader and vocal advocate for gambling reform, as an advisor to bring his expertise and challenge to the business on safer gambling practices, and further corporate social responsibility directives.
Watson will address all areas of the Flutter business from the shop floor and online platforms – to staff training, marketing and safer gambling operations. "His role will be to bring a fresh and robust voice into the business, as it continues to look for ways to protect vulnerable customers, while also serving the majority who enjoy gambling as a safe leisure pursuit," the company said in a press release.
A long-standing and most vocal advocate of regulatory change in the UK, Watson has been one of the most influential figures in UK politics to inspire calls for the review of the Gambling Act, now an imminent reality.
Watson commented: “I have a long-standing interest in this sector and consistently called for action to protect those that may be potentially vulnerable to harm. In taking on this role in Flutter, I intend to get under the bonnet of the business - and the industry more widely - to understand how best to further develop and implement industry-leading responsible gambling policies. I strongly believe that working collaboratively with Flutter in this way will allow me to continue to drive positive change."
Flutter Group CEO Peter Jackson said: “Bringing in someone with Tom’s gambling reform background is an important part of my commitment to lead the industry’s race to the top. We have to work harder than ever before to find a way to continue to bring great products and brands to our customers while always having the need to protect the vulnerable clearly in mind. Tom will hold a mirror up to help us make sure we are getting this balance right and I welcome the opportunity to work with him and hear what he has to say in the coming months.”