Sports betting group GVC Holdings has publicly supported the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) new approach to provide a safer betting and gaming environment during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

GVC has stated that the firm will ensure that all betting should be ‘enjoyed as a safe form of casual entertainment’ as the firm attempts to stop customers from playing beyond their financial means.

GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander commented: “At this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we are more committed than ever to keeping our customers safe while they enjoy our products. We are hugely sensitive to the potential for increased risk for some who are isolated at home or may have financial difficulties with reduced access to work. 

“Our enhanced tools give customers the power to manage their spending and time in an effective way, and we are backing this up by carefully monitoring play through our markers of harm.

“As an industry, we have a clear responsibility to protect the vulnerable and we warmly welcome the coordinated approach announced today by the BGC which provides a template for strengthening player protections.”

The company has revealed that further enhancements will be created, adding to its responsible gambling safeguards as more customers become susceptible to online gambling due to the recent coronavirus spread, causing many countries to initiate lockdown protocols.

The initiatives GVC will implement include proactive communication with all of its customers, stake limit setting on slot games, and reverse withdrawal settings, whilst encouraging punters to set deposit and time limits.

With sports organisations indefinitely suspending whilst the coronavirus spreads, live-sport betting opportunities will be sparse. However, this could lead to more customers exploring other betting avenues due to the majority of the world working from home for the foreseeable future.

GVC will combat this by increasing its responsible gambling messaging on the homepage and throughout all of the firm’s sites, whilst running responsible gambling-led, multi-channel advertising and marketing campaigns for all its gaming brands.

Finally, the addition of two new Markers of Harm (MoH) indicators to the company’s safer gambling algorithm enables the identification of potentially problematic gambling behaviour at an earlier stage. This could ultimately result in the suspension, or closing of accounts, if the algorithm judges that the customers are showing habits of a problem gambler.