Although for the majority of customers gambling is a pleasurable pastime, for a small number of them it becomes a serious problem.
In the UK, problem gambling levels are tracked through the 1999, 2007 and 2010 Prevalence Surveys and now through the English and Scottish Health Surveys. Levels have been relatively stable throughout the past decade and may even be declining. Accordingly to the latest English Health Survey, the proportion of the adult population that has a propensity to have a problem with gambling has reduced to 0.5%. These levels are low by international standards. According to academic experts, a problem gambler typically uses six to seven gambling products regularly. There is no evidence that any particular product is more harmful than any other.
William Hill is committed to encouraging responsible gambling. We have put measures in place to encourage customers to gamble responsibly and to provide them with tools to help control their gambling. For instance, our betting shop colleagues carry out more than 4,000 gambling interactions a month and facilitate self-exclusions for around 7,700 at-risk gamblers a year.
William Hill has worked closely with our industry body the Association of British Bookmakers and leading operators in developing and implementing the industry’s voluntary Code for Responsible Gambling, the principal aim of which is to drive up the number and quality of responsible gambling interactions in shops. We raise awareness of problem gambling by training our colleagues and by prominently displaying responsible gambling materials throughout our shops.
In addition, we fund the research, education and treatment of problem gambling through the Responsible Gambling Trust, a leading UK charity that aims to stop people getting into problems with their gambling and to ensure that those who do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.