Some of Britain’s top betting companies have committed £10 million to a programme to teach children about the perils of gambling.
The four-year programme will be designed and run by two gambling charities which educate children across the country.
The group, including William Hill and the parent companies of Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, said it was committed to prevent underage gambling and protect young people.
It will also ask banks to help block under-18s from placing bets with the companies, and figure out how to stop children seeing gambling adverts on the internet.
“These commitments are an important step forward for the sector in their own right and also signal a genuine desire to ensure that acting responsibly is at the heart of our businesses,” said Peter Jackson, the chief executive of Flutter Entertainment, which owns Paddy Power and Betfair.
It comes as the gambling industry launched a new body to represent it, and drive forward 22 new targets to tackle problem gambling.
The Betting and Gaming Council was established in response to calls to make betting safer and fairer.
The new goals include a plan for gambling companies to create an open-source collaboration which would let them share computer code and best practices on how to raise safety standards.
“Education is essential in ensuring that young people understand the risks of gambling and are able to make informed decisions about their participation in these activities and think critically about them before doing so,” Anna Hemmings, the chief executive of GamCare, which will help run the education push.
The group includes Aspers, bet365, Caesars, Flutter Entertainment – which runs Paddy Power and Betfair – Genting, GVC – the parent company of Ladbrokes and Coral – Playtech, Rank Group, Sky Betting & Gaming and William Hill.