GVC Holdings’ latest corporate social responsibility (CSR) report reveals the operator has seen the number of self-exclusion requests fall significantly, which it claims is the result of enhanced limit setting tools and earlier customer interactions.
The 2019-20 CSR Report hails the business’ progress in raising standards, highlighting a number of key developments over the period in key reporting segments.
For responsible gambling, it saw 1.07m customer interactions regarding problem gambling carried out in 2019, down from 1.12m the year before. Customer complaints rose 66.9% to 22,543 for the year, though complaints specifically regarding a gambling transaction were down 13.8% to 2,388.
Perhaps the most notable change in its responsible gaming key performance indicators was a 55.9% year-on-year decline in self-exclusion requests, to 147,473.
“The decrease in self exclusions in 2019 was driven by greater use of new account management tools enabling our players to set their own play limits as well as earlier interventions from our RG teams,” the operator explained.
Crime associated with the business also appears to be declining, with the number of burglaries or attempted burglaries at its premises falling to 99, with robberies or attempts down to 109.
Customers appear to be increasingly happy with the business, with digital customer satisfaction increasing from 57% in 2018 to 60%. However, the number of whistleblowing incidents reported and investigated jumped from 2 in the prior year to 34 in 2019.
Efforts to diversify GVC’s workforce also progressed in the year, with its 12,189 female employees comprising 49.5% of its workforce. The number of women in management positions grew to 40.3% of senior staff – compared to 37.4% in 2018 – workers from ethnic minority backgrounds grew to 21.1% of GVC employees.
The year also saw the operator conduct its first ever global engagement survey, with more than 70% of staff taking part. This highlighted better training and development, and management doing a better job of listening to staff.
GVC also highlighted a number of key developments over the past 12 months to raise standards across the business.
These include GVC acting as a driving force behind the ‘whistle to whistle’ ban on sports betting broadcast advertising and ending all football sponsorship and perimeter board advertising in the UK.
It continued work on its $5.5m five-year research partnership with Harvard Medical School Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction to better understand and reduce the potential for problem gambling behaviour. This is being supported by increased investments in research, education and treatment through the establishment of the GVC Foundation, the operator added.
Through a partnership with Epic Risk Management, GVC is funding early-stage education on gambling, looking to reach 11,000 students across 62 UK schools through the drive.
The operator has also reduced the business’ greenhouse gas emissions intensity compared to 2018, and is working to develop a more gender-balanced workforce, with 250 managers now trained in understanding conscious bias.
“We continue to recognise the value of working constructively with our peers, national regulators and third sector organisations,” Virginia McDowell, chair of the GVC board’s CSR committee said.
“To this effect, we took on a proactive role in creating the safer gambling commitments, launched in November 2019, with the aim of delivering long-term and fundamental changes in how gambling companies are run and their impacts on society.”
McDowell noted that GVC’s efforts were being recognised by “credible third parties”, with the business included in the 2019 edition of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and the FTSE4Good index.