UKGC chief calls on industry to “join the race to the top”

UKGC chief calls on industry to “join the race to the top”

Friday, November 9, 2018 Posted by News Team
Neil McArthur says operators have to do more to protect players

The chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) Neil McArthur has urged operators to ensure their company offers the highest standards of fairness and security for players. 

Speaking at the regulator’s Raising Standards Conference, McArthur said he wanted UK consumers to “be able to enjoy the fairest and safest gambling in the world”.

To achieve this, he said, he needed the industry’s support.

“I need you to work together to make sure you are the best - the fairest, safest - gambling operators in the world,” he told the audience, comprising 170 executives from more than 100 gaming companies. 

McArthur highlighted three key areas of focus for operators. He said that companies needed to better understand early signs that could indicate a customer is developing problems; work out better ways to interact with these customers, and to rebuild public trust by changing advertising strategies.

On the subject of advertising, he suggested that operators should act before the government was forced to bring in changes. 

“We all know that the public debate around gambling advertising on TV is getting louder,” he said. “Indeed, only last Sunday Sky made announcements about this subject.  

“Do you really need to wait for government intervention on advertising, when we all know this is a growing issue? What opportunities are there to work collaboratively to take decisive action that meets the public’s concerns?”

He reminded the audience that there was no such thing as “risk-free” gambling. While participation in the UK had fallen 19% over the past five years, gross gaming yield was up 21% over the same period. This, McArthur argued, suggested that operators were increasingly reliant on deriving revenue from a smaller number of players - something, he said, had to stop.

In conclusion, McArthur said: “This is a call to action to join the race to the top. A race to put your customers, their enjoyment and their safety at the top of the agenda for your management meetings, your board meetings and meetings with your investors.

“A race to approach the minimum requirements we impose as exactly that: minimums not maximums. A race to look for real solutions to the public health issue of gambling-related harm.”

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