London-listed betting and gaming operator Ladbrokes has established a social responsibility committee to oversee the development and implementation of a responsible gambling policy across all areas of its business.
The committee will meet at least three times a year, and regularly report to the board on the development of its responsible gambling policy, as well assessing the company’s performance against key social responsibility targets.
It will be chaired by senior independent director John Kelly, with non-executive director Christine Hodgson sitting on the committee alongside group chairman Peter Erskine and chief executive Richard Glynn.
Company experts will also be asked to assist the committee on a regular basis, while it will also work alongside Ladbrokes’ remuneration committee to develop key performance indicators, linking executive pay to responsible gambling targets.
Erskine said that the operator had always placed responsible gambling and social responsibility at the heart of its business, adding that the establishment of the committee formalised this approach and confirmed its importance to the future of the business.
“It is clear that trust in bookmakers has been impacted by negative publicity and lobbying in the last year, and while we may believe that much of the concern is ill founded, we accept that it is only by our actions will be able to win it back,” Erskine explained. “The social responsibility committee, chaired by John Kelly with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the gambling industry, is a significant step in this process.”
The social responsibility committee has been formed as part of Ladbrokes’ drive to strengthen its social responsibility measures, with plans to establish the entity first announced in February. It said that from 2015 onwards it will also link executive pay and responsible gambling, as well as using data gathered from its Odds On loyalty card to learn more about at-risk behaviour.
Ladbrokes also claims to have been the first operator to have had a television advert broadcast that was dedicated to promoting responsible gambling. However, the poster campaign launched to support the TV campaign has been criticised for linking gambling to sexual and social success.