UK Gambling Firms to Increase Assistance to Anti-Gambling Addiction Programs

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. voluntary / ˈvɒl ənˌtɛr i / (adj) – done or given out of one’s own choice and not by force

    The charity is funded by voluntary contributions.

  2. step up / ˈstɛpˌʌp / (phrasal) – to improve something

    Businesses should step up their efforts to become more eco-friendly.

  3. pressing / ˈprɛs ɪŋ / (adj) – describing something that needs urgent attention or action

    Spending too much time on social media is a pressing concern among people these days.

  4. take (something) to heart / teɪk tu hɑrt / (idiom) – to treat something as serious or significant

    After taking his friend’s advice to heart, he began to take care of his health more.

  5. back down / bæk daʊn / (phrasal) – to quit or stop fighting for something

    The group never backed down from the fight against the company’s mistreatment of its employees.


Read the text below.

Gambling firms in the United Kingdom have pledged to pay higher voluntary contributions to support initiatives that help people with gambling-related problems.

Five British gambling companies — Skybet, William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, Ladbrokes Coral, and Bet365 — offered to increase their contributions from 0.1% to 1% over the next four years. These five companies detailed their offer in a letter to the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). This initiative is part of the gambling industry’s move to step up its efforts to proactively address gambling-related issues.

According to deputy leader Tom Watson of the UK Labour Party, gambling in the United Kingdom is a pressing public health issue. The Gambling Commission, a government agency regulating gambling operations in the United Kingdom, reported that about 430,000 people in the country suffer from serious gambling addiction.

Amid concerns on gambling problems in the country, Secretary of State for DCMS Jeremy Wright urged the gambling industry to keep their players’ safety in mind. He also said that firms should take their social responsibility to heart, which includes funding research, treatment, and education to deal with the harmful effects of gambling.

The companies are planning to spend a total of £100 million on gambling addiction treatment for the following years. They will also work with health organizations to know which areas need funding the most.

Wright said that the DCMS will monitor the companies’ commitments closely. He promised that the government will not back down from its responsibility to protect people’s welfare against the harm caused by gambling.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the gambling companies’ initiative to increase their contributions will help solve the United Kingdom’s problem with gambling? Why or why not?
• Aside from gambling companies and the government, who else can help solve the gambling problem in the United Kingdom? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think governments should impose corporate social responsibility on all businesses? Why or why not? Explain.
• Which companies or industries do you think need to step up their corporate social responsibility? Discuss.