Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Casino Rank Group Announces Extension Of Carers Trust Partnership

Rank Group

The Rank Group has announced an extension of its partnership with Carers Trust to further support unpaid carers across the UK.

The brick-and-mortar casino chain announced this week that it had extended its partnership with the Carers Trust through to 2021. The initial agreement was signed back in February 2014 and over the last six years, Rank has helped raise around £2.6 million for the charity, helping more than 12,000 unpaid carers.

As reported by GamblingInsider, Rank has managed to raise £300,000 in the last year, and the popular casino chain has raised over £70,000 for the charity since April of this year. The charity aims to raise awareness of the challenges that unpaid carers in the UK face.

According to reports, the funds are used to deliver support to unpaid carers who are providing 24/7 care to people suffering from poor mental health or addictions, people with disabilites or people suffering from life-threatening illnesses. The funds are also used to provide carers with household items and to fund hospital visits.

John O’Reilly, the Chief Executive of the Rank Group, said in a statement: “I am really pleased with the fantastic support that Rank’s colleagues and customers have shown Carers Trust over the last year. It’s extraordinary to see that, despite the difficulties we’ve faced over the last five months with our Mecca and Grosvenor venues closed and over 7,000 colleagues having to be on furlough, we have continued with our efforts to raise money and have now topped £300,000 this year.

“This is an outstanding amount of which everyone should be very proud. There has never been a more important time to be raising money to support carers and the amazing work of the Carers Trust.”

He added: “We are committed to continuing this high level of support with our colleagues across the Group inventing ever more ingenious ways of raising money for this marvellous charity. Thank you to all our colleagues and our customers for your amazing efforts and long may it continue.”

Gareth Howells, the CEO at Carers Trust, said of the announcement: “This is fantastic news for Carers Trust and all the unpaid carers across the UK we are working with to make their caring responsibilities more manageable.

“On behalf of those unpaid carers, and everyone at Carers Trust, I’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Rank’s employees and customers for all their generosity and tireless commitment to going the extra mile to support unpaid carers.”

He added: “And coming as it does within the context of a global pandemic and an increasingly challenging funding environment, today’s announcement could not be more timely. Such sustained support for unpaid carers is also particularly important given the UK’s ageing population and the increasing pressure being put on health and social care budgets.”

Rank Group’s Ipswich Shirt Sponsorship

The news comes weeks after the Rank Group helped promote the charity via its special shirt sponsorship with football team Ipswich FC.

Rank Group currently has a gambling shirt sponsorship with League One football team Ipswich Town FC. As reported by iGamingBusiness, the team unveiled its home kit for the 2020-21 season earlier this month but, rather than displaying its own logo on the football jerseys, Rank Group relinquished the space and replaced it with the logo for the Carers Trust.

Speaking about the Rank Group’s decision to “gift” its branding space to Carers Trust, John O’Reilly said: “We’re proud of our partnership with Carers Trust and we’re continually looking at ways in which we can further support the charity. We’re delighted that this sponsorship will shine a much-needed spotlight on the fantastic work Carers Trust do in supporting unpaid carers across the UK.”

Gareth Howells commented at the time: “We are thrilled to see unpaid carers recognised with the Carers Trust logo featured on such a special commemorative shirt. On behalf of all the unpaid carers we worth with, I’d like to wish Ipswich Town every success for the new season.”

News of Rank Group’s decision to remove its branding from football kits follows similar decisions made by other gambling companies. For example, Paddy Power launched its Save Our Shirt campaign in 2019 in which it stripped all of its branding from the football kits of its sponsored teams.

Betdaq, owned by GVC, did something similar, removing its branding from Sunderland FC’s football kits and replacing them with the logo of Children With Cancer UK charity.

Banning Football Shirt Sponsorships

Over the last few months, there’s been a long-running debate over football shirt sponsorships with many calling for them to be banned completely as part of a crackdown on gambling advertisements during sports games and events.

Leading the campaign is Labour MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm Carolyn Harris who regularly speaks out against football shirt sponsorships.

Earlier this month, Harris revealed she was confident that the introduction of a new Gambling Act will lead to the ban of gambling shirt sponsorships, saying that banning said partnerships is one of the “most obvious” things to do under new rules.

Harris also explained that football clubs relying on gambling sponsorships, particularly smaller clubs wh are already facing financial issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will have to “wean” themselves off gambling sponsorships.

As we reported several weeks ago, Harris also claimed that gambling shirt sponsorships and stadium gambling ads “normalise” gambling for children, allegedly encouraging them to gamble.

She told the Guardian: “From a very, very early age, we’ve normalised the association between football and gambling. This is where we get this problem in later life. Young people grow up believing to become involved in gambling is completely normal without knowing anything about the consequences of when it crosses that line.”

The House Of Lords Select Committee on Gambling has also spoken out against gambling shirt sponsorships. In its Time For Action report from earlier this month, the group called for the UK Government to review the Gambling Act 2005 and ban all gambling advertisements on sports programmes, in sports venues, and on sports shirts – although the group did state this shouldn’t come into effect until 2023.