Responsible Gambling Drive Promoted by FlutterMarch 11, 2020 John Isaac
Flutter Entertainment, the group that owns the Paddy Power and Betfair brands, has stressed its commitment to responsible gambling despite a fall in profits of over a third during 2019. Citing tax and regulatory changes, Flutter announced a 15 per cent drop in EBITDA to £385m (£451) for FY2019, with profits before tax falling by 38 per cent to £136m (£219m).
To allow for the completion of the deal in either Q2 orQ3 2020, the company it expects consent from authorities across the globe for its mega-merger with The Stars Group, owners of Sky Betting and Gaming following approval in Australia.
The proposed dividend share of 200p remains identical to 2018. Flutter’s chief executive Peter Jackson stated that 2019 was a “very significant year” for the company, given further expansion in the developing US market.
With the restriction of maximum stakes to £2 on FOBTs in the UK, Flutter estimated that this cost its retail operation £30m last year. However, within its financial report, the company stressed the belief that a continued responsible gambling drive is more important than short-term financial losses.
As both an industry and an operator, flutter’s report stated that they are going to do more in regards to bettering the protection of their potentially vulnerable customers and to put their business under a more sustainable footing, going on to detail new technology monitoring player behaviour and a three-fold increase in the size of its responsible gambling team over the past 18 months.
To date there has been an 84% increase in customers choosing to set deposit limits while delivering a 56 per cent increase in real time contact with customers. These results, due to the responsible gambling initiatives have been quite encouraging.
Responsible Gambling and Compliance Procedures
Not withstanding the progress made, they still have more to do and as well continuously seek to raise their standards when it comes to responsible gambling and compliance procedures. For example, as part of their ongoing review of business relationships, they have taken the decision to stop taking business from a number of exchanges B2B partners where they felt as though their compliance policies were no longer sufficiently aligned with those of the group. This decision is likely to lead to a reduction in their exchange revenues during 2020.
Collaboration between industry leaders is essential to put the sector on a more sustainable footing. They must strive to promote a mindset that encourages a race to the top when it comes to responsible gambling best practice.
Across their global business they provide an entertaining betting experience to over 7 million customers and their main priority is to ensure that during visits to their sites and shops customers can stay in control and only bet what they can afford. However, they do recognise that for a small minority of customers, gambling stops being fun, and they are at risk of harm. All markets have their own regulation and societal context, and they apply their principles in that context with the ultimate objective of building a sustainable and responsible business in each market.