The Labor Party has proposed curbs on internet gambling to protect problem gamblers. In response, the Chief Executive of William Hill, Philip Bowcock, stated last Friday that he hopes that they find a balance when it comes to curbing online gambling. The balance should protect the customers while giving them the freedom to choose to gamble.
William Hill Chief Executive Calls for Gambling Curb Balance
On the other hand, Philip Bowcock stated that there is a common ground between the politicians and the gambling industry when it comes to gambling policy. It seems that the Executive Chairman of Sky Bet, Richard Flint, also believes so, as he said that the operators should be ready to embrace the new culture of limits.
These new comments came after the speech by Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labor party that took place last week. The statement suggested that the party would want to impose restrictions on online spending on gambling if there is research that indicates that it is necessary. Tom Waston stated that there aren’t enough checks whether the online players can afford the money that they are losing on online stakes. Therefore, he believes that they should enhance the players’ protections from the bookmakers.
William Hill Philip Bowcock stated that the devil lies in the details, but he added that the people acknowledge that they need to do more, as bookmakers. He also said that he believes that people also recognize that they are doing things and that there is still more that they can do. On the other hand, anything that they do needs to be supported by evidence. He made a point by saying that when looking at the spending levels of different players, they need to know that one person’s five pounds, is another man’s 500 pounds.
Therefore, he stated that they need to find the balance between freedom for players, and protecting them, and they can do that if they have the required data and analytics in place. With such data, they will be able to identify the behavioral patterns of players, and whether they are changing or not, or if they show any indications of problem gambling, said Philip Bowcock from William Hill.
Richard Flint stated that most of what Tom Watson said is true. He added that the problem that Tom identified that many people are losing great sums of money fast and losing money that they cannot afford. Therefore, they should work together, as one force as an industry with the government to limit it. All of this explains why William Hill is pushing for more balance.
Sky Bet’s Richard Flint Discusses the Change of Culture
Richard Flint said that there had been a cultural change over the last few years, especially after the FOBTs experience. He added that he frankly believes that a combination of better understanding of the problems, and the threat of new regulations resulted in the big bookmakers willing to deal with the issue differently, unlike the past. Of course, some companies will be making less money short term, but in the long run, everybody will benefit.