Ladbrokes has made a donation of £180,000 to GamCare, a leading charity that provides information, advice, support and counselling around problem gambling. The donation will go towards the organisation’s youth programme and will help fund three new regional "youth hubs" in Bristol, Birmingham and the North West.
Ladbrokes is a committed supporter of responsible gambling and has led the way in the industry when it comes to promoting responsibility to customers. Last year, the company became the first UK betting operator to run a TV advert promoting responsible gambling; they were even the first to link executives’ pay to performance in this area.
The operator also dedicates 20% of its window advertising space to responsible gambling messages. Ladbrokes is a leading member of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) which has introduced a series of responsible gambling measures over recent years, including restrictions on TV advertising and new limits on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
The company is also a founding member of the Senet Group, an independent industry body which was set up in 2014 to monitor and enforce compliance with responsible gambling strategy. The group was actually established by four of the largest gambling brands in the world with William Hill, Coral and Paddy Power being the other three.
In the latest sign of its commitment to responsible gambling practices, Ladbrokes has made a substantial donation of £180,000 to GamCare, a charity which helps people who are affected by problem gambling. Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen made the donation after visiting the GamCare call centre in London:
"When I spent time with Dirk [Hansen] and his team, I got a real sense of how effective their interventions can be, and how important it is for people to get timely advice. For most people, gambling is a safe and thrilling way to spend their leisure time and I want people to enjoy it responsibly."
Mullen went on to describe how excited they are to embrace the youth when it comes to preventing problem gambling:
"The idea that we can begin to inform and educate young adults about the potential problems associated with gambling is something that feels right to me. Evidence suggests young people may be more prone to losing control over their gambling and through this piece of work, we have the opportunity to help people remember that gambling should be fun, not a problem."
GamCare was set up in 1997 and offers support to problem gamblers as well as their partners, family and friends. The charity operates the National Gambling Helpline which is free to call and is available from 8am to midnight seven days a week. It also offers face-to-face counselling as well live chat, forums and chatrooms on its website.
The organisation works closely with the industry and awards GamCare Certification to operators that abide by its high standards of social responsibility and player protection. It also provides training to customer service staff to help them spot signs of gambling addiction, and contributes to research on the subject.
GamCare’s youth programme has been running since 2015 and is aimed at young people who are particularly vulnerable to problem gambling. It is also producing positive results and the donation from Ladbrokes will allow GamCare to expand its services in London and create three new regional hubs in other areas of the country.
These hubs provide free workshops and training at regional youth outreach centres as well as resources for teachers and other professionals working with young people to help them identify youngsters who may be at risk from problem gambling. The charity also plans to develop a system for referrals to treat young people who are experiencing or vulnerable to gambling-related harm.
Dirk Hansen, CEO of Gamcare, expressed his thanks to Ladbrokes for their donation:
"We sincerely thank Jim Mullen and Ladbrokes for this contribution to our work with young people across the UK. Our work aims to ensure that young people can access honest, accurate and relevant information about gambling and make informed choices about whether they choose to gamble."
The GamCare CEO then explained what benefits the donation brings to the programme:
"As a result of this programme, young people will also be able to access help and support tailored for them should they need it. This donation, along with recent support from the Rank Group, will allow us to achieve national scale with this vital service."
If you think that you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, or if you just want to learn more about the topic, then head to GamCare’s website where you will find a wealth of helpful information and resources.