Gambling organizations in the United Kingdom could soon join forces as part of an effort to lobby politicians as tougher regulation looms for the industry.
News of a merger between the Remote Gambling Association representing online betting firms, and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) came after the recruitment firm Ellwood Atfield posted job adverts, the details of which point to a major gaming lobby group being created.
From the job ads, the new lobby group will be known currently as NEWCO.
The recruitment firm is currently on the lookout for a CEO and a Chairman.
Potential candidates are required to possess a successful lobbying experience, particularly influencing the lobbying process within Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels.
The job post also asks applicants to present an established network within both the national and international media arena, and they should be capable of dealing with the media on politically sensitive subjects.
A series of scandals have surfaced in recent days exposing the behavior of gambling companies, sparking public anger and criticism.
The ABB had battled with the government over the planned imposition of new restrictions on fixed-odd betting terminals, but despite strong opposition from the organization, the new measure will take effect in April.
The issue on FOBTs prompted the resignation of sports minister Tracey Couch which cited the influence of MPs linked to gambling lobbyists as the main reason for her decision to leave her post.
iGaming Operators Will Face Tougher Fines
Anti-FOBT campaigner Matt Zarb-Cousin said that the gaming industry is now recognizing the need to form a new trade body after realizing that it had committed a series of blunders. He believes that the ABB in particular has lost its credibility after its failure to properly handle the FOBT issue and to acknowledge the problem.
With the FOBT battle now over, the spotlight has now been placed on the dangers posed by online gambling, which is the main subject of a study published last month by the academic journal European Addiction Research. The study found that the rapidly-growing popularity of mobile gambling apps is more dangerous than FOBTs.
Erring gambling firms are now faced with higher financial penalties. They paid a combined £5.2 million in 2016 which has since rise to £28 million in 2018. This figure is expected to rise further as the government continues to tackle the problem gambling epidemic.