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Press Releases

16 December 2004

ARGO AGREES SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CODE OF PRACTICE When ARGO was established in August 2004 it identified social responsibility as an issue that was key to the future success of the remote gambling industry. Its members have now agreed a code of practice in order to bring consistency to the process and to help them meet their responsibilities in this area.

ARGO General Secretary, Clive Hawkswood, said: “We could have waited for the Gambling Commission to be established and for it to develop its own standards, but there was a genuine acceptance that this was something that we had to deal with now. Our members have put a lot of thought into it and we believe that the general principles which it contains will stand the test of time.

However, none of us can afford to rest on our laurels and we recognise that the code will have to be a living document that is changed and improved in the light of experience.”

The code covers advertising and promotion, underage gambling, staff training, player protection measures (essentially help for those who have, or may feel they have, a problem), and customer communication.

Speaking for Gamcare, Michael Smeaton – Remote Gambling Specialist, commented: “Gamcare applauds ARGO’s commitment to social responsibility, and welcomes its ongoing work in developing the Social Responsibility Code of Practice. We look forward to continuing working with ARGO to develop best practice in this area.”

ARGO’s chairman, Ian Spearing of William Hill, said: “The industry is fully committed to combating problem gambling and to do whatever it practically can to prevent children gambling. As ever, we are grateful to Gamcare and others for their constructive approach to the problems that we are faced with. We hope that the future Gambling Commission will be equally pragmatic.

Specifically on the age verification front, we still believe that the banking sector can do more to help us check the details that potential customers supply us with and we will be encouraging them to find ways to do so, but the code is an important step forward for us.”
Notes for editors ARGO was established earlier this year to represent remote gambling operators who carry on business in the UK or the European Economic Area.

Remote gambling includes telephone, online & interactive betting and gaming.

Apart from their international betting businesses, many of ARGO’s members also operate successful online casinos and poker rooms from other jurisdictions.