“Catch Us If You Can” – Flutter Boosts Its Safe(r) Gambling Matrix

In what’s no longer a feel-good exercise but become—markedly so in an era of Covid-19 viral pandemic and looming regulation—a financial and strategic imperative for the gaming industry, iGaming giants Flutter Entertainment have thrown down a marker and effectively challenged the gambling metaverse: “Catch us if you can.”

“We remain committed to driving meaningful change across the industry,” said Conor Grant, Chief Executive of Flutter UK and Ireland.

“We will not wait for regulation where there is clear evidence to act, as we continue to evolve for the benefit of our millions of customers.

“We have been looking at meaningful ways we can enhance customer protections. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is vital for the sustainability of our industry,” said Grant.

With both the UK and Irish betting markets poised for new, tougher, regulations and player protections, Grant announced that FTSE-100 Flutter, currently valued at almost £20 billion (US$26.5bn/€23.54bn), “welcomed” progressive sustainability and safety measures.

“[We have not been] idly tinkering around the edges in the hope that the status quo can be maintained. The industry is at a hugely important juncture,” said the iGaming leader.

Public scrutiny of the world of gambling has increased. There is a growing demand to make it safer for punters. And the industry must embrace change, believes Grant.

“We have got the regulatory and legislative process happening in the two key markets I operate in and we think this is a fantastic opportunity to set this sector up for the next generation.

“[Both] governments need to get this right and obviously we [support] them.”

Controlled Risks

For Flutter–the holding company of Paddy Power, Betfair and FanDuel, among numerous other brands–protection begins at customer registration, said Grant. Wager limits are allocated to each customer. Safer gambling controls, through monitoring, then kick in. If these fail, final controls prevent losses from spiralling.

“We know [that] each customer’s circumstances are different, which is why we need to take a risk-based approach to safer gambling and affordability,” continued Grant.

This year Flutter, which boasts 14 million customers worldwide, focussed much of its responsible gambling initiatives on younger players.

Deposit limits of £500 per month (US$662/€588) for 25-year-olds and younger will be enforced early in the New Year.

In Ireland, where Flutter are headquartered, some tougher gaming controls, such as banning credit card usage in retail and online betting and limits on advertising have already been implemented.

“Is there stuff we did in the past that we can’t do now? Yes, there will be. And that is the correct thing to do.

“I think we have to acknowledge that what has happened in the past in some instances hasn’t been right and we have made mistakes.

“But I think we have to move the discourse on. We have to be part of the solution,” Grant concluded.

Meantime, Flutter last week (December 10) repurposed its existing Risk Committee as the Risk and Sustainability Committee (RSC) – a move bolstered by the appointment of Atif Rafiq, formerly of MGM Resorts International, Volvo Cars and McDonald’s Corporation, as an independent non-Executive Director and new Member of the RSC.

“This strengthens our governance arrangements for oversight of sustainability matters,” said Chair of Flutter Gary McGann.

Where Flutter leads is surely where others in iGaming will follow.

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