GVC welcomes House of Lords report calling for overhaul of gambling laws

Thu 02 Jul 2020

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LONDON (SHARECAST) - (Sharecast News) - GVC Holdings has backed calls by the House of Lords for an urgent review of gambling legislation.
The House of Lords select committee on the social and economic impact of the gambling industry published its report on Thursday. It said the liberalisation of the industry via the Gambling Act 2005, the universal adoption of smartphones and the "exploitation of soft-touch regulation by gambling operations has created a perfect storm of addictive 24/7 gambling".

The report called for wide-ranging and urgent changes to how the betting industry is regulated, including a ban on sport sponsorship, strict affordability checks on customers and a testing regime to ban addictive games, among others.

Lord Grade, committee chair, said: "Urgent action by the government is required. Lax regulation of the gambling industry must be replaced by a more robust and focussed regime which prioritises the welfare of gamblers ahead of industry profits."

Ladbrokes owner GVC - one of the world's largest sports-betting and gaming groups - said it welcomed the report.

Kenny Alexander, chief executive, said: "The report is a thoughtful and measured contribution to the debate on how to ensure the regulated gambling industry can thrive, provide entertainment and enjoyment for the millions of Britons who like a bet.

"While there is only a small minority of customers who run into problems, it is important that we put a safety net around them. We fully support the recommendation to bring forward the UK government's review of the Gambling Act and we will play a full and active role in this process."

Alexander also welcomed proposals for a triennial review of the Gambling Commission, but also called for more research in problem gambling. "Claims around the scale of the issue frequently bear no resemblance at all to the independent research already available."

The blue chip also published on Thursday findings of its own research that showed what it called "broad support" for gambling as a legitimate leisure activity. The survey of 2,000 Britons, which was conducted in May 2020, found that nearly 80% of regular gamblers saw betting as a part of the leisure industry.

As well as Ladbrokes, Coral and Eurobet, GVC also owns a number of gaming brands, including Foxy Bingo, Gala and PartyCasino.
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