Flutter UK & Ireland, part of Flutter Entertainment PLC, has today (6 September 2021) launched a new policy measure – including the introduction of a £500 per month net deposit limit for all customers under the age of 25 years – intended to enhance protections for younger customers on its platforms.
Its accompanying press release reads as follows:
FLUTTER UK & IRELAND LAUNCHES POLICY TO ENHANCE PROTECTIONS FOR UNDER 25s
Latest step builds on a strong track record of protecting younger customers on its platforms
LONDON, September 06, 2021: Flutter UK & Ireland, part of Flutter Entertainment, is today launching a new policy designed to further enhance protections for younger customers and encourage sensible spending across its platforms. The measure will include the introduction of a £500 per month net deposit limit for all customers under the age of 25 years.
The new policy will be automatically implemented for all customers under the age of 25 across Paddy Power, Betfair and Sky Betting & Gaming in the UK and in Ireland, preventing any customer in this age group from spending beyond that limit. For the small number of customers who can demonstrate income to sustain an increased level of spend, they will need to go through a detailed process before an alternative limit is set. The deposit backstop is part of Flutter’s Affordability Triple Step, a risk-based framework which uses real-time data to monitor player activity and behaviours to ensure that gambling remains safe and enjoyable for customers.
The policy is based on a recognition that early adulthood is characterised by a range of significant life changes, such as moving away from the family home and gaining financial independence. It’s recognised across industries including finance and car insurance that younger customers overall have a higher risk profile, and our own research supports this.
Polling of regular gamblers, commissioned by Flutter, has shown that there is widespread support across all age groups for additional measures to protect and support younger people, with 77% of regular gamblers approving overall. Support for additional measures amongst 18- 24 year-olds polled at 78%.
This policy supports wider steps the industry has already taken over the past twelve months to enhance protections for younger customers. This includes using Adtech to avoid targeting under 25s in ‘paid for’ social media channels, using specific age markers on data models, developing bespoke thresholds based on age and introducing a requirement that gambling ads appearing on search engines must make it clear that they are for those aged 18 and over.
Conor Grant, CEO of Flutter UK&I said:
“We are continuously looking at ways we can enhance protections for our customers, particularly those who are young or may be vulnerable. People under the age of 25 are likely to be experiencing a number of significant life changes, such as gaining independence for the first time and learning how to manage their finances. We want anyone who decides to gamble when they come of age to get in the habit of setting sensible spending limits and this measure is the latest we are introducing to help make this happen.
We will be sharing our thinking and data with the Government and hope this new measure helps in terms of providing further ideas, evidence and potential solutions as it continues its review of the gambling legislation. The review provides a once in a generation opportunity to bring gambling rules into the digital age, and while we believe that the changes it will bring are critical, we won’t wait to implement ground-breaking policies that will make a difference for our customers.”
As reported in The Times, this follows:
- comment in July 2021 by Irish President Michael D Higgins about the “scourge of sports gambling” and “dangerous gambling advertisements, which continue to cause so much damage to families and individuals” and
- Flutter Chief Executive Peter Jackson stating the following month that the company would “continue to improve [its] safer gambling framework, developing initiatives that are tailored to market-specific requirements”.
It remains to be seen whether Flutter’s lead in the above respect will be followed by other operators.