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Entain sets up players' panel to give consumer input on gambling Regulatory change

Entain has created a new Players Panel initiative, asking ordinary players to consider the upcoming change to the Gambling Act 2005.

Entain Gives players a line of communication with lawmakers

To empower consumers, Entain has created a new player panel that seeks input from players on government regulations, as well as how they view gambling problems and what solutions they think will work.

To express objectivity in the initiative, Entain contacted players across a range of brands including Ladbrokes , Gala Bingo and Coral, asking players for genuine feedback and not offering any specific prizes to ensure that each participant does this off their own volition.

Entain is taking it a step further, moving them from the usual gabfest for gamers to discuss ideas to a platform where they can make suggestions directly to decision makers who will weigh the pros and cons of re-regulating the industry.

In relation to the review of the Gambling Act 2005. Many changes are expected, some of which are more welcome than others. Gambling companies are facing what they often describe as an existential threat to many businesses and jobs.

Fees may increase

Currently, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport plans to increase the fees to 55% for all remote gambling companies in October 2021. And add an additional 15% renewal fee for all land-based companies in April 2022.

In addition to this, Entain is an advocate of regulated markets and is determined to remain in all major jurisdictions where gambling is permitted by law, while pulling activity out of the grey market. The call for evidence issued by DCMS, which runs until March 31, could have wide repercussions for the industry in the UK.

Many other issues were raised, including limited advertising, betting limits, and whether the UK Gambling Commission, the national regulator, should be removed and replaced.

For its part, Entain says it is only interested in supporting the process of changing the law and providing legislators with actionable information and data collected by players who actually participate in such gaming contests.

Commenting on the gamer panel initiative, Entain's Director of Corporate Affairs, Grianne Hurst, said, as quoted by iGaming Business:

"Betting and gambling is a popular pastime for many people, but people who participate regularly and recreationally are rarely asked for their opinion.

- Appointment of Director of Corporate Affairs Grianne Hurst

He reiterated the company's stance on providing players with a reliable and safe gameplay experience. Hurst believes the way to do that is through a player panel.

Just regular people playing

One of the panelists, going by the name Elizabeth, said she represents a segment of gamers who deal with such products for pleasure rather than financial gain.

She further explained that she does not want her hobby to lead to gambling addiction in young children or ruin livelihoods, but stressed that personal responsibility and freedom of choice are equally important in the industry.

Another person on the panel is Ken, a library worker from Newcastle, who said his stake was two pints of beer a week, a price he would be willing to pay even if he lost.

Appreciates the panel of players and the opportunity to speak and participate in a debate that was somewhat one-sided as far as legislators were concerned.

What the numbers say

Entain presented the results of a survey conducted in July 2020. A total of 1,781 customers were surveyed, and the majority of them, about 73%, agreed that betting and gaming was a normal pastime.

A further 79% said that people should be free to choose what and how they spend their time and money. An estimated 81% agreed that individuals should be the ones to call about gambling, as long as the activity is offered within a legal framework.

However, a noticeable change was seen in the opinions when Entain asked if it was up to the individual to determine how much they could responsibly bet. About 68% agreed with the rest who were unaware of the stumbling blocks that gambling brings.

However, 71% respondents answered that the rate decision should be up to the individual, even though this contradicts the previous answer.

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