Due to the ongoing revision of the 2005 Gambling Act, the gambling industry in the UK is constantly looking for ways to combat gambling addiction and provide a safer environment for vulnerable individuals. After the former Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur, stepped down from his position, last week, the regulator appointed Andre Rhodes as its Interim Chief Executive.
A gambling operator was criticized for allowing a customer to bet more than he could afford, without employing the right measures to prevent such actions. Meanwhile, the broadcasting network company ITV was condemned for not banning gambling-related advertisements during the Euro 2020 tournaments.
Andre Rhodes Takes the Position of the New Interim Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission
At the end of last week, the UK Gambling Commission announced that the position of the Interim Chief Executive will be taken by Andre Rhodes. The employment of Rhodes followed a thorough recruitment process after the former Chief Executive stepped down from his position earlier this year.
Rhodes, who has extensive experience in the private and public sector will take the position of Interim Chief Executive for a period of 18 months. Rhodes shared he was happy to join the well-respected regulatory body at such a crucial time for the gambling industry in the UK. He also added that the main goal of the Commission will continue to be the protection of vulnerable gamblers. Rhodes shared that he expects to meet different people from the gambling industry as well as people who have experienced firsthand gambling-related harms to learn more about the issues that currently take over high-risk people in the UK.
Paddy Power Accused of Not Caring About a Problem Gambler Who Bet on the Bookmaker’s Website
A High Court Judge accused the betting operator Paddy Power of not caring about one of its customers. According to Mr Justice Griffiths, the company knew about the gambling problems of its customer Tony Parente. Through its monitoring tools, the bookmaker was informed about the businessman’s gambling issues but still “did not care” about the vulnerable punter and allowed him to continue making bets.
Despite failing to provide evidence of his income and prove he has enough funds to afford to gamble, the businessman was still offered various promotions, prompting him to continue betting with Paddy Power.
Mr Parente opened his account at Paddy Power in 2015 and soon was detected as a punter with gambling issues. In 2016, the bettor closed his account by using the self-exclusion tool of the bookmaker. By the fall of 2016, Mr Parente suffered losses of £77,846 on over 5,000 bets, estimated to amount to a total of £2,368,025. The betting operator’s High Service Unit, however, regarded this case as a typical business. According to the High Court judge, Paddy Power has received enough evidence to conclude that Mr Parente was a compulsive gambler and had to be provided tools to prevent further harm. Instead, he was able to stop gambling only when he decided to use the self-exclusion program of the gambling operator.
ITV Condemned for Refusing to Ban Gambling Advertisements During the Euro 2020
The TV channel ITV was heavily criticised by the head of Care for not banning the gambling advertisements during the broadcasting of Euro 2020 matches. While the company assured that the number of advertisements promoting gambling will be heavily reduced during the football tournaments, the broadcaster was criticised for not taking additional measures to further protect vulnerable viewers.
The reason why the TV channel will broadcast fewer gambling-related ads is due to the voluntary “whistle-to-whistle” ban that does not allow promoting gambling-related companies before 9 pm. Meanwhile, ITV will not introduce any other limitations while it broadcasts the Euro 2020 matches. This was heavily frowned upon by organisations combating gambling-related harm, with the head of the Care social policy group addressing the issue in a letter to the ITV’s chairman and chief executive.
As the government is planning a serious reform of the 2005 Gambling Act, there was serious disapproval of the relationship between professional football teams and gambling companies. Organisations like GamCare have taken upon the task to protect the integrity of the sport and prevent further harm caused to vulnerable people who are fans of football. Some of the tools offered to high-risk gamblers include Gamban and Gamstop, which can help them stop betting.