Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ll be well aware that Christmas is upon us. After being bombarded with overly-sentimental TV adverts and Black Friday promotions urging us to buy more and more, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is meant to be the season of giving.
But do gambling companies give anything back?
Most don’t perceive the gambling industry as being renowned for its charitable nature. In the UK, there’s a misconstrued public perception that gambling is a toxic industry where profits are everything and corporate responsibility accounts for next to nothing. However, all licensed gambling operators in the UK have made significant voluntary contributions to a vast range of their own charity projects, as well as donating to other national and local charities.
For example, The Responsible Gambling Trust; the industry’s own charity, has raised more than £20 million to date in donations from over 200 large and small gambling operators up and down the country.
This festive season, we at Team Jackpot, have done some digging to find out just how much the biggest names in UK gambling have given in charitable donations. After searching through the most recent financial reports of the biggest players in the industry, we are pleased to reveal the top 5 most charitable gambling companies in the UK.
5. Paddy Power
Credit: Paddy Power
- Gambling charities donated to: Not disclosed.
- Other charity involvement: In partnership with Stonewall, Paddy Power ran the most successful charity campaign of the year. The Rainbow Laces campaign aimed to kick homophobia out of football and was successful in being seen by a quarter of the UK population. Top footballers donned these colourful laces in their premier league games and the #rainbowlaces Twitter campaign was a rip-roaring success.
- If you haven’t seen it already check out the Rainbow Laces advert featuring members of the Arsenal football team.
- Gambling charities donated to:: Ladbrokes donated £670,000 to the Responsible Gambling Trust, through their Community Charity Trust which funds research and treatment into gambling issues.
- Other charity involvement: The Ladbrokes Community Charity Trust has also raised more than £400,000 for charity partners that include: Barnardos, Race for Life, the Booby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer and the NSPCC.
3. Gala Coral
Credit: Coventry Telegraph
- Gambling charities donated to: Gala Coral have given £700,000 in donations to the Responsible Gambling Trust.
- Other charity involvement: In addition to gambling charities, Gala Coral have spent a further £100,000 in donations to a variety of national and industry-related charities. In April, Coral staff raised a massive £750,000 for Macmillan Cancer support with events such as The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
2. William Hill
Credit: Sydenham Town Centre
- Gambling charities donated to: £863,256 was given to the Responsible Gambling Trust by William Hill in 2013. This is the biggest donation to a gambling related charity of all the companies we obtained figures for.
- Other charity involvement: William Hill has a number of wide ranging charity projects including Project Africa, a charity helping to provide educational and medicinal facilities for a rural community in Kenya. The project has been a big success with more than £200,000 raised to date.
- Gambling charities donated to: Details of bet365’s financial information are difficult to come by. However, we have obtained this information directly from bet365. From operating profits of £330 million, bet365 donated an eye watering £105 million to the bet365 Foundation, a charitable foundation that supports numerous good causes. It isn’t known how much bet365 have given to gambling charities this year, but it is clear that bet365’s charity donations dwarf that of the other investigated gambling companies.
- Other charity involvement: bet365 have made large donations to a number of charities such as Oxfam, MacMillan Hospice, CAFOD as well as relief programmes for victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. This year, bet365 have also pledged £230,000 to a project that provides education to children in Sierra Leone.
Note: All figures have been obtained directly from the respective gambling operators via their annual reports and corporate responsibility sections. All figures referenced are from the year ending 2013 apart from Gala Coral (year ending 2014).