Problem gambling is an incredibly complex issue and the hidden nature of problem gambling makes it especially challenging.
It’s something that people don’t often talk about and for a long time the industry didn’t want to talk about either. But we’re starting to uncover the hidden side of gambling. William Hill is one of the largest bookmakers in the UK, and we can – and want to be – part of a solution. We want to see a world where nobody is harmed by gambling.
Tackling this issue requires a different approach. We’re committed to listening and learning from a wide range of experts and innovators so that we can join up with others who have a piece of the jigsaw and move faster, together.
So for us it was an important early step to bring together people who are instrumental in tackling gambling-related harm – who have the insight into the challenges, ideas for solutions and aspirations for the future – to explore how we can collaborate on this shared agenda.
On 7 November 2018, William Hill hosted an event to kick-start a different type of collaboration. It was designed to disrupt the collective thinking about how we help keep customers safe from gambling-related harm and find new approaches and solutions.
There was an incredible variety of perspectives in the room – from well over 100 leading thinkers and practitioners. That included industry experts like academics and researchers, politicians and regulators, and other gambling companies. But we also wanted to bring in deeper and broader views too: people who have had direct experience of gambling-related harm, and their families. Plus a whole range of people with adjacent expertise that extends beyond gambling – behavioural scientists and psychiatrists, tech experts from Google, organisations like major UK footballs clubs who shape culture and can influence behaviours, and experts in those other areas that gambling can impact like relationships and financial health.
Together, we came up with some thoughtful new approaches and a deeper understanding of the challenge, which we’ve set out in this publication. By listening and learning, we’ve come away with some great new ideas to help shape our business – and some that I hope will be piloted through our new Responsible Gambling Innovation Fund.
At the event, we heard from those who have lived with problem gambling in their lives or in their families – reminding us of the devastating harm linked to those problems. These are difficult issues, with difficult questions – and we don’t know all the answers. But discussing the challenges and new ideas to tackle them is a critical next step on the path towards a world where nobody is harmed by gambling.