Speaking to BBC News, Richard Flint outgoing Chairman of Sky Betting & Gaming (Sky Bet) has stated that the gambling industry ‘hasn’t done enough to look after problem gamblers’.
Flint who departs Sky Bet governance this June, further details that industry leadership ‘should consider funding a network of gambling treatment centres’.
Sky Bet’s outgoing chairman and former CEO, makes his statement, as UK regulatory and national health stakeholders review how to develop better support structures for treatment of problem gambling.
The pressure is mounting on the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), to introduce a new ‘wellness levy’ on licensed operators, forcing the industry to primarily pay for the development of UK gambling prevention, treatment and research networks.
The treatment and prevention of gambling harms, has become a key agenda for betting leadership, with tier-1 operators such as GVC Holdings, William Hill and Sky Bet developing funding towards restructure and education disciplines.
Leading Sky Bet in 2018, Richard Flint introduced the bookmaker’s ‘four-point plan’ on corporate responsibility, becoming the first UK betting incumbent to launch a dedicated social responsibility programme on gambling harms.
This summer, the NHS will open its second dedicated gambling addiction treatment centre, in Sky Bet’s home city of Leeds, a development supported by Flint –
“I’ve been to a gambling addiction treatment centre and seen the devastation that gambling addiction has caused people and their families,” he said.
“Leeds is opening a treatment centre this summer which is a great step forward, but I do think we need a bigger network of treatment centres going forward.”