UK gambling companies will have an opportunity to allay some of the concerns of politicians when they appear in the UK Parliament to give evidence this week.
The UK sector has been hit by bad publicity and criticism from both media and politicians in recent months, as well as a significant regulatory tightening, which has included curbs on advertising, a cut in the maximum stake of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and a bad on betting with credit cards, which is due to come into effect on April 14.
And this week the latest development in the ongoing battle over reform of the gambling sector will see some of the UK’s biggest gambling firms appear at the House of Lords. On Tuesday February 4, a number of chief executives at major UK gambling firms will appear before the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry. The two-hour session will also involve the Betting and Gaming Council Chair Brigid Simmonds, OBE.
The Committee will hear evidence from Kenny Alexander of GVC, which owns both Ladbrokes and Coral, Ulrik Bengtsson of William Hill, John Coats, who is a joint Chief Executive at Bet365, Dan Taylor from Paddy Power Betfair and Ian Proctor of Sky Betting and Gaming.
A number of topics related to the way that the industry operates will be discussed, including the industry’s much-publicised five safer gambling commitments. The chief executives will also be grilled about the live-streaming of FA Cup games, and their approach to high-spending customers, both in how they check that such customers are able to afford their gambling and in the link between high-spending customers, VIP schemes and gambling harm.
The Committee are also expected to ask questions about the existing self-exclusion schemes that operate in the industry and the way that gambling firms use non-disclosure agreements in an attempt to prevent customers from reporting breaches of gambling regulations.