GVC Holdings has deepened its commitment to social responsibility, agreeing a multi-year partnership with independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy EPIC Risk Management (“EPIC”).
Under the terms of the agreement EPIC will advise GVC and deliver training to Group employees across three key areas: strategic advice on GVCs responsible gambling strategy, with a focus on identifying the best approach when interacting with customers who show signs of problem gambling.
As well as this, it will look at delivery of responsible gambling workshops across the highest risk populations including selected charitable partners in the field of problem gambling support.
The partnership will also place a key emphasis on the world’s largest face-to-face gambling awareness and education programme for school children. GVC’s support for EPIC will see the courses delivered to at least 12,000 school children, across 100 UK state schools over the next two years with the aim of enabling them to make more informed decisions around gambling upon reaching the age of 18. The programme will be independently evaluated by a leading UK University.
Commenting on the announcement, Grainne Hurst, GVC’s Director of Responsible Gambling said: “We are delighted to be working with EPIC and to be able to utilise their expertise to help us to deliver an industry-leading approach to all aspects of responsible gambling. This agreement supports our commitment to create the safest gaming environment for our customers, employees and wider society, including young people.”
Paul Buck, Chief Executive of EPIC Risk Management added: “EPIC are committed to reducing gambling related harm and helping to advise and educate organisations in the highest risk sectors in how to pro-actively make gambling safer and fairer for all, especially young people. We welcome the opportunity to work with GVC as they aspire to improve standards around responsible gambling and provide a safer environment for their customers and their employees.”
The partnership comes on the back of unwanted media coverage for the Ladbrokes brand, with The Guardian in particular criticising its VIP programme and conduct over technical issues with its bet taking software.
The announcement marks the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by GVC, forming part of its new Fair Play CSR strategy which comprises three principal pillars; Responsible Gambling, Responsible Employer and Responsible Communities. Under each of these pillars the Group have rolled-out a number of policies:
· Responsible gaming – A commitment to double spending; a partnership with GamCare to focus on educating young people on gambling issues; a call to curb advertising around live sports and; funding for a major new prevalence in the US with the US National Council on Problem Gambling and
· Responsible Employer – launched a new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy, which outlines a three-year roadmap towards a more inclusive business.
· Responsible Communities – The Group relaunched the Ladbrokes Coral Trust and ran major campaigns for The Bobby Moore Fund and Alzheimer’s Research UK; unveiled a strategic three-year partnership with SportsAid and announced the establishment of a new GVC Community Fund with £2m of funding.
Epic will be speaking alongside Sky Bet and the English Football League at March’s Betting on Football Conference, detailing the methods that are being undertaken to strengthen social responsibility and deepen integrity within English football. To find out more about the event, click here.