Flutter UK and Ireland CEO says operator will “not wait for regulation” to raise standards

Conor Grant, the chief executive of Flutter UK and Ireland has said that the gambling giant will aim to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to safer gambling by continuing to ramp up protections across its multiple brands.

This comes after several industry veterans, including gambling minister Chris Philp spoke at the ninth annual GambleAware Conference earlier this month.

What did Grant say about Flutter?

In a blog post shared yesterday (13 December), Grant outlined Flutter’s progress on improving customer safeguards following the launch of the Gambling Act review back in December last year.

Grant explained that Flutter “welcomed” the launch of the Gambling Act Review and that the operator has “consistently” pushed for a “regulatory framework that raises the responsibility threshold for all operators and creates a level playing field.”

According to Grant, the operator has not been “idly tinkering round the edges in the hope that the status quo can be maintained.

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

Grant went on to speak about the initiatives that Flutter has introduced during the past twelve months that aren’t just “cosmetic gestures.”

What initiatives is Grant talking about?

In the blog post, Grant explained that the “Affordability Triple Step” system, which aims to introduce a risk-based approach informed by customer needs and circumstances, was evidence of the operator’s commitment to consumer protection.

The first step of the triple step system begins when a customer registers with one of the operator’s brands where spending limits are allocated to each customer. The second step involves continued monitoring through Flutter’s safer gambling controls.

If either of those two steps fails to flag or identify a person experiencing gambling harms, the final step, a backstop that prevents losses from growing, will be implemented.

Grant explained that “We know that blanket measures are blunt instruments that will fail to tackle the issue. Each customer’s circumstances are different, which is why we need to take a risk-based approach to safer gambling and affordability.”

Grant added that in the last 12 months, the company’s responsible gambling initiative has addressed young people, specifically those under the age of 25. The Flutter CEO noted that this age group had a higher risk profile, resulting in measures that would “cut right to the heart” of the issue.

Grant went on to explain that an upcoming policy will be implemented next year to address this.

“Our new policy, which will be implemented early next year, will introduce net deposit limits of £500 per month for customers under the age of 25. Whilst the vast majority of our customer base spend nowhere near that limit, it provides a helpful safety net for those that need it,” explained Grant.

Grant also reiterated that several safer gambling measures have already been introduced in Ireland, which includes a ban on using credit cards to fund retail and online gambling, as well as a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising before the watershed.

“Again, we have been clear that we will not wait for regulation where there is clear evidence to act, which is why we introduced a number of progressive initiatives earlier this year,” said Grant. 

“As we continue to evolve for the benefit of our millions of customers, we remain committed to driving meaningful change across the industry.”