A combined effort from the five biggest players in the UK sports betting industry have made a £100 million ($128 million) pledge to the British government in hope to stave off increased regulatory controls that could potentially shackle future growth and innovation of the industry.
The UK’s biggest betting brands are desperate to improve the image of the industry, and fear that the next regulatory rules may be just around the corner.
Public opinion has generally turned against the gambling industry over the past few years. As a result, the industry has seen stricter regulation and taxes. A handful of the smaller companies have since ceased to do business.
Amid calls for a mandatory betting levy to fund problem gambling programs and research, the betting industry has decided to make the first move.
This week a letter was sent to the British government, signed by Bet365, Ladbrokes Coral (GVC), Paddy Power Betfair, Skybet and William Hill. The latter pledges to increase the current voluntary levy tenfold – from 0.1% of gross gaming revenue to 1% over the course of the next five years.
This would potentially increase the levy from £10 million raised last year, to £100 million.
A UK Gambling Commission study concluded that gambling charities collectively need around £70 million ($89 million) per year to provide the level of staff, research, and treatment necessary to understand and combat problem gambling.