BGC praises gambling industry’s “huge contribution” across corporate social responsibility initiatives

The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has published a new report highlighting the contribution the regulated gambling industry makes to communities, the economy, and sport.

This comes just days after the BGC revealed it would work with members and tech giants to improve advertising safeguards online.

The BGC’s report

Published yesterday, the BGC CSR Report 2021 is a 28-page report that sets out the investment in corporate social responsibility (CSR) made by members of the BGC.

The report is intended to provide a snapshot of activity over the past two years, from joining the national effort against Covid-19 to providing vital funding for a range of good causes, including cancer, mental health, and dementia charities.

The CSR report also outlines the regulated gambling industry’s efforts to promote inclusion and diversity.

Highlights from the report

The report names several big players in the UK gambling market including bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Entain, William Hill, and Gamesys Group, while other BGC members were praised for the support of the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, which was delivered in cooperation with YGAM and GamCare.

The report paid particular praise to the work done by the Entain Foundation, which in 2021 committed to donating £500m over the next five years to causes that relate to responsible gambling, education and treatment, as well as men’s mental health and community projects. 

Martin Lycka, Entain’s SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Entain Foundation Trustee said: “We are delighted to have partnered with sports clubs, gambling researchers and athletes in a number of our key jurisdictions, including Germany, the UK, Italy and the US.

“The range of the new initiatives that we are announcing, and the quality of the partnerships that we have entered, is a great endorsement of our overall CSR strategy, and there is plenty more to come.”

The report also highlights the Gamesys Foundation’s £100,000 commitment to mental health initiatives as well as the William Hill Foundation which partnered with the Scottish Football Association concerning mental wellbeing. Playtech also received praise for becoming the inaugural holder of GamCare’s Safer Gambling Standard. 

Report highlights on Economic contributions

When it comes to the wider economic and social impacts of the industry, the BGC once again reiterated that BGC members support 119,000 jobs. This number is made up of 61,000 direct and 22,000 indirect jobs in Scotland and Northern England and 15,000 in London.

The BGC also issued a reminder that the industry contributes £7.7bn to the economy in gross value added, £2.2bn in treasury taxes and £4.5bn across its supply chain.

Additional economic highlights included the £350m that goes to horseracing from the regulated betting and gaming industry through media rights, sponsorship, and levy payments. The report also highlighted the £40m that goes to the English Premier League, £10m that goes to darts, and the £2.5m that goes to rugby league.

What about societal contributions?

The BGC pointed out that additional societal initiatives have also focused on safer gambling, especially when it comes to research education and treatment. The report highlighted that industry contributions to GambleAware hit £10.6m. The largest contributors include bet365, Entain, Flutter, and William Hill.

Entain and William Hill received praise for their initiatives but Kindred Group’s recent decision to introduce a new policy that will see the firm report its revenue share from high-risk players, with a goal of generating 0% revenue from harmful gambling by 2023. 

Speaking on the new policy, Maris Catania, Head of Responsible Gaming & Research, Kindred Group said: “Sharing these numbers may not be popular with some audiences, but it will also create a potential chance to have more fact-based discussions and data sharing in the gambling industry. That is truly important.”

Comments from BGC CEO

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council said: “This report highlights the huge contribution the regulated industry is making to the communities in which it operates.

“Across the board, we see examples where members and their employees are making a real difference to the lives of others, through their support for the post-pandemic recovery, their backing for local communities, charities and grassroots sports clubs hit hard by the pandemic, their commitment to inclusion and diversity and their determination to tackle climate change.

“This social contribution is of course in addition to huge economic benefits our members generate, which is proving vital as the Government seeks to repair the financial damage caused by Covid.”

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