Betting Group Flutter Welcomes Betting Industry Changes Amid Predictions for GGR Drop
Responsible gambling group Flutter Entertainment which owns a number of popular betting sites in the UK and globally has published a positive review of the White Paper on UK gambling, stating that it welcomes the proposed changes. Since its start, the group has advocated for modernising the UK betting and gaming industry in order to make it safer and to eliminate the risk of gambling harm and the use of gambling for the purposes of crime. Flutter has invested millions in the funding and promotion of research and education in relation to gambling harm. According to the review published by the betting group, the White Paper on UK betting and gaming is “an important and necessary change for the industry”.
As Flutter is proud to call itself a socially responsible and progressive betting group, it has spent the past 3 years introducing various changes in its policies, processes, and operations with the aim to reduce any potential for harm from betting and gaming. Gambling harm in the UK is very low to start with, but the group which owns betting sites such as Sky Betting and Gaming, PokerStars, Paddy Power, Betfair, and many other betting sites, has vowed to work tirelessly to eradicate whatever betting harm remains. As a result, the group has made voluntary sacrifices of £150 in revenue annually which has resulted in its business becoming more socially responsible and sustainable. According to Flutter Entertainment, the further measures and changes suggested in the White Paper would cost the betting sites under its control further £50m to £100m in Gross Gaming Revenue per year. The Group has pointed out that the reduction is not expected in 2023, as none of the proposed regulation changes are expected to take place before the summer of 2024 at the earliest.
In practical terms, Flutter Entertainment already has implemented some of the various controls, account limits, and checks that are proposed in the White Paper on UK Gambling. For example, customers using the Group’s betting site have to comply with a limit of £10 per spin when playing slots. Bettors under the age of 25 are subject to stricter controls and measures ensuring their safety online. Further to this, Flutter has imposed a voluntary “levy” on itself, donating 1% of its annual revenue to the charities concerned with the treatment of gambling harm and with gambling research and education. These measures are a significant start on what will be required from betting sites and bookmakers in the UK should the White Paper proposals become official regulations, and the Group has suggested before that its betting sites are more sustainable and prepared for substantial regulatory change.
Discussing the White paper, Flutter’s Chief Executive Peter Jackson said:
“We believe proactive change will lead to a better future for our industry and have introduced industry-leading safer gambling controls via our ‘Play Well’ strategy over the last few years, including setting mandatory deposit limits for customers under 25, reducing online slots staking limits and making material investments in our safer gambling operational capabilities. We encourage the regulator to look at what more it can do to tackle the problem of the growing number of unlicensed and unregulated gambling companies targeting at-risk gamblers across the country.”
According to the statement released by Jackson, the White Paper has got a lot right and represents a “significant positive moment” for the UK betting and gaming sector. He pointed out that the proposed changes, if implemented, would raise the standards across the industry and would “bring the regulatory framework into the digital age”. An experienced professional when it comes to the UK and global betting and gaming industry, Jackson pointed out the importance of getting new regulation right from the very beginning, and that implementing the right changes would bring about the stability the industry needs in order to continue funding jobs and contributing to the growth of the UK economy, digital innovation, and evolving betting market.
Indeed, these are exciting times for Flutter Entertainment, with the socially responsible betting group being in the spotlight for its voluntary practices and restrictions. Jackson has univocally pledged his support to bettors who have experience gambling harm, pointing out that they are in the minority of UK bettors, and that the new changes and regulations will help them without interfering with the betting experience of the majority of Flutter customers. The Group has also hired a new Chair Designate, John Bryant, whose job will be to fully engage with the Government and the UK Gambling Commission on all things White Paper and ensure that Flutter’s experience, research, and knowledge is appropriately shared throughout the consultation process that will follow the publication of the White Paper. The Government has said that it will continue to work with everyone involved in the betting and gaming industry in the UK in order to get all the proposed changes and regulations right before implementing them in 2024.