With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promised review of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act due in a couple of weeks, the UK’s largest online gaming operator’s chief executive has revealed his opinions regarding the matter.
Flutter Entertainment’s chief executive officer, Peter Jackson, has come into the forefront with his stance on the government’s upcoming gambling act review. He has been at the helm of Flutter since 2018 has been at the helm of different companies before his Flutter stint. Flutter Entertainment is one of the world’s largest gambling operators with a portfolio of brands that includes the likes of Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Betting & Gaming, and PokerStars, among others.
Jackson has shared his stance through a recent Racing Post. He expressed that the UK’s gambling industry is badly in need of a review. He also stressed that MPs should focus on reforms that have a meaningful impact on industry instead of cosmetic gestures. He also noted that all of the industry’s stakeholders, primarily the government and the operators, should work towards striking a balance between policies, operations, and safety so that they can build an industry that will not only command the support of its customers but also the support of the wider society as well. He also called for a range of reforms aimed at the protection of vulnerable stakeholders such as the underaged sector, young adults and other vulnerable sectors. He also urged for a review and discussion about online gambling spend and stake limits.
In light of his stance, Jackson noted that it may come to a surprise to many that a CEO of one of the world’s leading gambling and betting companies would call for newer and tougher measures. He defended his stance by saying that he believes that the review is badly needed as the UK’s current regulatory framework has failed to keep up with how society has been changed by technology. He further explained that though regulation has developed in certain areas of the industry, other operators have their own measures in place. These discrepancies in regulation will lead to regulatory inconsistencies and gaps wherein other less scrupulous operators can exploit with less regard for consumer welfare.
Aside from consumer welfare and general operations, Jackson also reminds MPs of the gambling industry’s wider ecosystem. He stressed that MPs should acknowledge the impact of new gambling policies on the racing industry. He explained by saying that the gaming and betting industry has a special relationship with the racing industry as the latter is also a key stakeholder in the review and reorganization process. He urged the two sectors two support each other in light of the incoming review. He also urged the government to recognise this special relationship between industries as policies without respect to other stakeholders will ultimately negatively affect all stakeholders.
The government has been hard-pressed to launch its review as advocates of gambling reform have come forward across the political spectrum. The review could also include new policies regarding gambling advertising and sports sponsorship. In light of this, the UKGC has also been upping its game with crackdowns against online operators. Though some have been fined and made to review their policies, the best UK online casinos are safe due to top-tier regulation compliance. The commission is also cracking down on new casinos sites to make sure that these new players are complying with the law.