Stop Gambling Harm believes the gambling landscape has been altered dramatically by how technology has enabled it to become a 24/7 business where almost anyone can gamble at any time.
The enormity of this change would have been hard to foresee but it’s brought phenomenal growth in revenues and shareholder returns. This comes at a great cost to the most vulnerable in society.
Stop Gambling Harm has a single mission; that using the varied experience and insights of its promoters, would urge both institutional investors and legislators to bring their weight to bear on the industry to curb those parts of its activities that can do serious and sustained harm to society.
Stop Gambling Harm is focused on pushing owners and legislators to immediately act on the following key issues.
That more restrictive gambling controls are put in place for customers under the age of 25 as it's clinically known the frontal lobe of the brain – the critical part in decision making – does not fully develop until that age
Mandatory deposit limits for everyone with a complete ban on VIP schemes and free bets
Mandatory application of separate accounts for sportsbooks and the more addictive online casino gambling
Bringing online slot machines stake limits into line with the £2 limits on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
Rigorous controls on advertising around sport and the broadcast of sport
To pressure the industry’s institutional investors (the owners) to insist boards and management of these businesses balance profit growth with acting in a way that reduces the risk of profound social harm.
To meet with legislators to inform and lobby for strong legislative actions, not to simply rely upon regulatory interventions to urgently limit the access of the industry across society.
That in our dialogue with legislators and the investment community we would consistently highlight the specific targets identified by SGH as critical to allowing the industry to conduct its business without doing such societal damage.
Long career in private equity, first with Mercury Asset Management, then with Hg Capital that he founded in 2000 and ran for a dozen years.
Through Ian, Mercury was the first institutional investor in Paddy Power, taking it public in 2002. Ian has been a quiet advocate for greater controls on the gambling industry’s growth for many years.
Stewart is one of the three founders of Paddy Power in 1988 and served as its CEO through to shortly after its flotation in 2002.
Stewart remained as a non-executive director for more than a decade, retiring in 2016 when he realised that he couldn’t achieve the requisite level of change from within. Widely respected across the industry, Stewart has actively campaigned for legislative interventions as he believes the industry cannot be trusted to change.
Consultant to Paddy Power in the earliest years on its foundation in 1988. Later, was for six years, non-executive chairman after it floated on the stock exchange in 2002. First took a public position on the industry’s excesses in 2015 and has been a consistent critic since.
If you have relevant information and are an advocate for greater control on the gambling industry and you would like to get involved, or if you are a legislator or member of the investment community and would like further information, please get in touch.
There are many organisations providing all forms of support to those suffering from some form of gambling dependency. SGH is not a charity. It’s a small pressure group with the singular purpose outlined here.
What follows is a list with links to some of the most relevant charities.