Richard Flint, the executive chairman of betting company Sky Bet, has claimed that the UK gambling industry has not done enough to support individuals who suffer from problem gambling.
According to Flint, the sector does not have the urgency to look after these individuals and therefore believes that operators must start doing more to care for the issues at hand. He has suggested that it is time for the operators to fund a network of gambling treatment centres.
The charity, Gambling with Lives, who help individuals to deal with gambling addictions, were not happy with Flint’s comments. They felt that he was being “hypocritical” because Sky Bet are known for being one of main drivers of the growth of gambling in the UK. In 2018 alone, Sky Bet reached a valuation of more than £3 billion. The company recently expanded their offices in Leeds.
However, it is expected that Richard Flint will leave Sky Bet in June after spending nearly 17 years as their executive chairman. This comes after he had admitted that the sector can be found guilty of encouraging people to spend more money that they were able to afford.
Sky Bet is not an organisation known for being concerned about their problem gamblers. This comes after facing a £1 Billion fine last year for failing to protect their vulnerable customers. Flint is aware of the mistakes that they have made, but he also believes that the gamblers must also take some responsibility in self-regulating their actions.
There are many problems across the UK with problem gambling with the UK Gambling Commission stating that around 43,00 adults are suffering from a gambling related issue. In the last few years, the number of individuals taking part in these activities has almost doubled.
Most of the Gambling businesses in the UK are contributing funds to the Gamble Aware Charity, however it has been stated that these donations are insufficient. Problem Gambling is an issue that further needs addressing as it not only affects the customers but also causes the reputations of the industry to be tarnished.
The UK betting watchdog have set goals to resolve problems with gambling and casinos online. As a part of this, they have started educating people about how to gamble responsibly. However, these numbers are not high enough yet and a lot more work is needed to be done to reach the levels that they wish.