Entain launches ‘The Players’ Panel’ to help balance the debate on betting and gambling

Entain plc, the global sports betting and gaming group home to Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala Bingo, has launched The Players’ Panel to give consumers a voice on the issues around betting and gambling in the UK. This comes at a critical moment for the 99% of the UK’s consumers who bet safely and responsibly – but whose interests are never taken into account in regulatory changes which impact what they do in their leisure time.
The Players’ Panel is drawn from Entain’s customers across the UK on a voluntary, unpaid basis. It is a platform for them to speak out on issues such as the future of betting, freedom of choice, funding for sports and gaming trends. The views of the Players’ Panel are their own and they will be interacting with political decision-makers, stakeholders and the media to give the perspective of the day-to-day customer.

This comes as the government seeks evidence and data to shape the future of betting regulations through the review of the Gambling Act. Entain is supporting the Panel because it believes that millions of consumers who enjoy placing a bet responsibly deserve to have their opinions heard and for a balanced debate to happen.

Members of the panel include a retired printer, a customer service executive, a library worker and a health and safety executive.

Elizabeth (36), a health and safety executive from Walsall, said: “There are loads of people like me who play a little slots and bingo for fun. Until now we didn’t have any voice in the elite debate about gambling – even though it’s our hobby that’s being discussed.

No one wants to see kids betting or people putting themselves at risk, but freedom of choice and personal responsibility are also really important. There must be more that can be done to protect people, but we have to get the right balance.”

Ken (55), a library worker from Newcastle, said: “Betting is my enjoyment. Some people go to the cinema or theatre or just have a couple of beers – all good social outlets which cost a bit of money – and for me it’s bingo and sports betting. Like most people I’m fair with my betting. The small amount that I am prepared to lose is around the cost of two pints of beer a week, and I believe I get good value for money. There are so many people out there like me and I’m glad to get our voice heard through The Players’ Panel.”

Today Entain also releases new national polling of UK players to assess their views on key issues around betting and gambling. The research finds:

The most popular activity is placing a bet on sporting events

A majority (73%) believe that betting and gambling is a normal leisure activity

Most regular customers (79%) believe that individuals should be free to choose what leisure activities they participate in

81% believe individuals should be free to decide whether they gamble, and 68% believe individuals should be free to decide how much they gamble*

Almost three quarters (73%) of those who play are concerned about their privacy rights when it comes to data sharing

64% believe that individuals themselves are best placed to decide how much they can afford to gamble*

Almost three quarters of customers (71%) believe that staking limits should be voluntary and set by gamblers themselves*

Almost a third (30%) of customers have had either direct or indirect experience with gambling on the black market

45% of those who bet say they would consider gambling on the black market if they had to provide proof of income in order to play

Younger consumers are the most likely to have had experience with gambling on the black market, and also more likely to consider gambling on the black market if a £2 stake limit is imposed or if they are required to provide proof of income

69% of respondents believe playing the lottery is a form of gambling

“Betting and gambling is a popular pastime for many people, yet the individuals who take part in it regularly and recreationally are rarely asked their opinion.

“At Entain we are committed to putting our customers first, and the Players’ Panel is an additional way to ensure that the voice of our regular customers, are considered in the debate about the future of our industry”. said Grainne Hurst, Entain’s Corporate Affairs Director.