Flutter Chairman Ian Proctor intent to drive the “right change”

In an Opinion piece for City A.M., Flutter UK & Ireland Chairman Ian Proctor discussed the upcoming UK Gambling Act review.

With industry leaders already pulling out of unregulated markets the onus is on them to continue taking a proactive approach.

Proctor argues that being an industry leader comes with a responsibility and that leaders such as Flutter will not be fighting to keep the status quo as he advocates a proactive approach to drive the “right change” and the most “impactful approach to player protection”.

Proctor wrote: “Getting to the right answer on affordability is complex and not without some knotty ethical issues. It requires finding a critical balance which allows us to protect the most vulnerable from potential harm without disproportionately impinging on the personal freedom of the vast majority of the 30 million people who enjoy a gamble in the UK every year. In essence, it is about looking at financial vulnerability in combination with a range of factors, to prevent harm. 

“Inevitably this complexity makes it harder for us to come up with a neat, one size fits all answer and I recognise that the nuances and tailoring in our response will lead some to cry foul and believe that we are fighting to retain the status quo. We are not, we are looking to drive the right kind of change which works even if it isn’t easy.”

“So what does this mean in practice? We believe the way forward is taking a risk-based approach founded on evidence,” Proctor added.

Proctor further argues that central to the discussion of prevention and intervention lies the important question “What can I afford?” This forms the basis of their new framework consisting of three layers which Flutter is calling the Affordability Triple-Step that encompasses risk assessment at customer registration, ongoing and real-time monitoring of customers through safer gambling controls and finally the possibility of a backstop.

Envisioning the success of their approach, Proctor adds:

“This means not considering affordability in isolation, but in the context of many other data points including frequency of bets and deposits, personal circumstances, time, products used and, crucially, changes in usual patterns of behaviour for each customer. When all these inputs are considered together, we can take an impactful approach to player protection.”

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