Panorama – a wider view

In an opinion piece for the September 2019 edition of iGaming Times magazine entitled “Panorama – a wider view”, that you can download here, David Clifton explains why, in his view:

  • Panorama’s recent and carefully edited “Addicted to Gambling” exposé of the now historical failings of certain gambling operators (broadcast by BBC TV on 12 August 2019) gave the misleading impression that little has changed in recent times in terms of improvement of social responsibility standards on the part of the industry at large and
  • no clear impression was conveyed in the programme that the Gambling Commission is a robust enforcer of ever more demanding regulatory requirements; that alone would have gone some way towards answering one of the questions posed in the programme, namely “How serious does it have to be before people will act?”

As a result, David concludes that the BBC was “judging yesterday’s conduct by the standard of today’s expectations”.

However, David goes to explain why, in his view, to advance such criticisms “misses the point”, concluding that “the industry has surely now recognised that public trust can only be regained if in future it abides not only with the letter but also the spirit of the law”.

David’s article can also be accessed in the online version of the iGaming Times or downloaded below.

In view of David’s reference within his article to Panorama’s interview of the CEO of the Gambling Commission, we thought it might assist to set out below the comments made by Neil McArthur that were broadcast during the course of the programme:

  • “There are 24 million gamblers in the UK but we recognise that not all of those people are just enjoying gambling. Some of those people are finding that gambling is a source of concern.Our job is to minimise the risk of people getting into difficulties from gambling whilst recognising that a significant proportion of people do enjoy gambling”.
  • “We’ve not yet reached a point where we would impose [limits on stakes or  prizes] because the information that the operators have available to them means that they ought to be able to keep players safe, to keep players playing with money they can afford to play with and allow them to play in a way that is keeping them from becoming at risk of problem gambling”.
  • “My challenge to the industry is how do you go beyond the minimum standards we’ve set and really achieve better outcomes for consumers by trying new measures, evaluating their effectiveness, building on what work, dropping what doesn’t work in a way that really achieves reduction in problem gambling rates”.

You can read here associated comments made by David (in an EGR Intel article) regarding a BBC News item published on 12 August 2019 entitled “Gambling Companies See Huge Rise in Complaints”.