The Chief Executive of gambling group GVC Holdings has criticised a UK Parliamentary Group.
Kenny Alexander was responding to an accusation made by the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (GRH APPG) which had suggested he had displayed cowardly behaviour. He also criticised their recommended £2 limit for online casino stakes, warning that such a limit could lead to a growth of problem gambling, as players opt for illegal operators.
Alexander’s comments follow the APPG’s findings, released last week, on the desirability of a £2 limit on online slot game stakes. The proposal would bring online casino games in line with the stake limits imposed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) earlier this year.
But speaking at an event in London, Alexander said that the two types of gaming activity were different and should not be treated as the same:
“They said that because it’s £2 in slots, it must be £2 in online casino, but that’s like comparing apples and pears. It’s completely and utterly ridiculous. We did definitely need the stake limit on FOBTs to come down. It didn’t need to go all the way down to £2, but it did and so be it. But to compare FOBTs and online casinos is completely false.”
He went on to suggest that the main difference was that with online casino gaming it was much easier to monitor a player’s behaviour than it was with FOBTs. And whereas there was no risk that the FOBT stake cut would lead to players looking for unregulated FOBTs as these did not exist, it was possible that online players could search online for unregulated sites.
Alexander also hit back at suggestions by the APPG that he was guilty of cowardly behaviour for not attending the Group’s hearing, saying that he had a pre-arranged Board meeting for that date, and that no other gambling group CEO had attended.