|Recently established industry body, ARGO (Association of Remote Gambling Operators), has selected the issue of socially responsible gaming as its number one priority at the first meeting of its governing Executive Committee this week. The body agreed to form a sub-committee dedicated to considering the issue.|
ARGO General Secretary, Clive Hawkswood, said: “The future success and credibility of the remote gambling industry will be very much dependent on its ability to address these issues adequately. If the Gambling Bill proceeds then in a sub-committee and to discuss the initial draft of an ARGO due course the Gambling Commission will produce its own codes of practice, but our members felt it was important to take the initiative. Our first steps we will be to set up a code of practice with Gamcare”.
Speaking for Gamcare, Michael Smeaton – Remote Gambling Specialist, responded by saying: “ We are pleased to see ARGO taking social responsibility seriously and addressing it from the beginning. We look forward to working with them in the near future.”
Present at the meeting were Ian Spearing (Chairman), William Hill; John O’Reilly (Vice Chairman), Ladbrokes; John Coates, Bet365; Steve Taylor, Bet Direct; Phil Knight, Coral Eurobet; John Whittaker, Stanleybet; Joe Scanlon, totesport and Ed Andrewes, Victor Chandler.
Chairman, Ian Spearing, added: “In addition to social responsibility, our priority must be to ensure that any future remote gambling regulatory and taxation regime is one which meets the needs of operators as well as Government. We will all be losers if the regulatory and tax burden is such that Britain becomes completely unviable as a base for remote gambling companies. Related to that is the question of removing unjustifiable trade barriers across Europe and ARGO will certainly be active on that front too.”