UK: SkyBet Commits £1 million to Responsible Gambling Effort Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · June 1, 2018 at 2:23 pm Sky Bet has announced that they are investing £1 million into a new responsible gambling programme focused around the 72-team English Football League. The project is to work with both players and other staff in the League, in order to train them in regard to awareness of gambling related risks and harm. Sky Bet have contracted with EPIC Risk Management, an independent consultancy firm specialising in harm reduction, to manage and deliver the new project. Sky Bet Chief Executive Officer Richard Flint made the following statement alongside the announcement of the new investment: “When we announced the extension of our EFL sponsorship we were keen to put safer gambling at the heart of our renewed partnership. “By funding such a vital service for every club, we want to play our part in reducing gambling related harm amongst their players and wider staff. I firmly believe that responsible operators can add value to sport through partnerships like this.” The first wave of investments will take place with clubs in Birmingham, Norwich, Carlisle, Lincoln and Portsmouth, amongst others. Sky Bet is the title sponsor for several divisions of the English Football League, including their Championship, league 1 and league 2 divisions. English Football League Chief Executive Officer Shaun Harvey issued the following statement: “Betting in football should only serve to enhance the match day experience… I hope that by providing our campaign with visibility at every single game that supporters will be encouraged to stay in control and gamble safely. The work that will take place with EFL clubs, players and staff alike is a hugely significant step forward and will hopefully have a positive impact on all participants in the professional game for many years to come.” Sky Bet were fined £1 million last year for failing to protect customers and for sending advertising material to self-excluded individuals. On the plus side, the firm volunteered their findings in the matter to the Gambling Commission, which saved them from a much larger fine. Perhaps this recent scrape, along with the renewed calls by the Commission for more proactive efforts by the industry to reduce gambling related harm, have combined to spur Sky Bet towards this new move. It’s certainly a welcome one, and hopefully the first of many such efforts from major gambling firms in the UK.