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The UK Gambling Commission has recently raised concerns over the increased problem gambling rate and has asked operators to step up their game when it comes to protecting problem gamblers.
William Hill responded with a new campaign, “Nobody Harmed by Gambling”, which will focus on how products are designed and marketed, identifying those at risk and supporting those players with gambling addiction.
Lindsay Wright, the company’s first director of sustainability, explained that they failed in this task so far but things are about to change.
According to the Gambling Commission, there are now 430,000 problem gamblers in Britain, and a further two million are at risk of becoming one. The figures also suggest that for every problem gambler, six people are affected.
The sector has been criticized immensely particularly for inappropriate TV advertising and nevertheless the problem was even bigger during the FIFA World Cup. William Hill was among several companies being probed by UKGC for their World Cup advertising and they decided to acknowledge how gambling products can cause harm to customers and deal with it.
The shortcomings are affecting the industry’s reputation and William Hill decided to be the first and set an example. Their new responsible gambling initiative aims to have positive impact on gambling on people’s lives and will be implemented across retail and online businesses.
William Hill Group Chief Executive Philip Bowcock explained the need for the initiative further.
“It’s incumbent on us, as one of the leading betting brands in the UK to eradicate problem gambling. Just taking the money and running is not an option for William Hill”.
Lyndsay Wright explained that the program has been cooking for the past nine months. William Hill officials were aware the company and industry experienced a meaningful decline in recent years in how people perceive gambling and they needed to address the problem. Their goal is that nobody is harmed by gambling and if they want to last, they have to do it the right way.
Players need to enjoy gambling and stay gambling for the long term and that is possible only if they gamble only what they can afford so it’s in the company’s best interest to deal this problem thoroughly. Four areas have been marked as key:
“We must recognize the hidden side of gambling and get much better at helping our customers stay safe, in shops and online, in the UK and around the world. Society expects it, our customers need it and a sustainable future for William Hill depends on it.” Bowcock concluded.