The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Nigel Huddleston, has called on UK gambling firms to do more for problem gamblers.
Recently the Betting and Gaming Council, whose members include the likes of bet365, Paddy Power and GVC Holdings brands Ladbrokes Coral, introduced a ten point pledge to improve safer gambling operations.
However, Huddleston has written to the Chief Executive Officers of the five largest gambling companies in the UK, imploring and urging them to go further, than the commitments that they have already made.
Forming part of the letter sent to William Hill, GVC Holdings, SkyBet, bet365 and Flutter Entertainment, the minister has requested that the firms ensure safer gambling messages are made more prominent in all forms of advertisements for their brands. With Huddleston stressing this is even more important while the UK is currently under lockdown, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Only recently the Advertising Standards Authority ( ASA ) reported that they had seen an increase in gambling related complaints since the start of the pandemic.
In the letter, Huddleston states: “Whilst overall gambling participation has fallen in recent weeks and the industry has made notable contributions to support the national response, we must take proactive steps now, and keep these measures under review.”
“I expect patterns of play to be closely monitored so we can move quickly if there is any evidence of problem gambling increasing. I also want more to be done to promote responsible gambling during the pandemic.”