New CEO claims industry takes social responsibility seriously

New CEO claims industry takes social responsibility seriously

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The Senet Group's £2m Bad Betty campaign won awards

The Senet Group's existence is a demonstration that the gambling industry is taking its social gambling commitments seriously, according to the organisation’s new CEO.

George Kidd has joined Senet, the organisation set up by industry operators to set and maintain social responsibility, from the Online Dating Association, where he was CEO. He is also the chair of the Direct Marketing Commission and a non-executive director for the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Prior to his regulatory roles Kidd was with the Cabinet Office and with the Foreign Office as British Consul in Chicago.

Kidd said he was delighted to be joining Senet, and believes that bookmakers are motivated to prevent problem gambling: “The sector is taking the issue of responsible gambling seriously as is clear from the impressive work to address this across its advertising, its support for Senet’s own campaigns and joint work on a self-exclusion scheme. I am sure Senet will continue to play an important role based on strong relationships with other bodies in the sector and our other stakeholders.”

Senet membership comprises Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill, Gala Bingo, Sky Betting & Gaming and ScotBet.com. The members have signed up to a voluntary TV advertising ban on sign-up offers (free bets and free money) before 9pm, to refrain from advertising gaming machines in betting shop windows and dedicate 20% of shop window advertising to responsible gambling messages.

The membership also paid for a £2m TV advertising campaign with a responsible gambling message – the award winning ‘Bad Betty’ series of adverts highlighting the phrase: “When the fun stops, stop.”

Senet has taken its time in recruiting Kidd, he replaces the organisation’s founding CEO Ron Finlay who stepped down in April.

Senet chair Wanda Goldwag said: “We are delighted to welcome George. He has an extensive background in regulation and self-regulation in particular having served as Chief Executive of PhonepayPlus and the Online Dating Association, as Chair of the Direct Marketing Association and in non-executive roles in the self-regulation of charity fundraising and conveyancing services.”

Totally Gaming Says: With a new government in the UK, the gambling industry needs to be seen to be on the front foot. New Prime Minister Teresa May has had a brief dalliance with the gambling industry after a stint as Shadow Culture Secretary 10 years ago but she is likely to be distracted by Brexit issues – Senet Group needs to be able to get the message over to the other decision makers in Parliament.

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