Both William Hill and our industry have a wide-ranging influence on the lives and conditions of a large number of people and the communities in which we operate. It is extremely important that we maintain a good relationship with other industries and local communities.
We are continuing to support the horseracing and greyhound racing industries in the UK. We pay an economic subsidy to British horseracing via an increased statutory levy of 10.75% on gross win from British horseracing activities and support greyhound racing via a voluntary donation to the British Greyhound Racing Fund. These funds are used by the respective bodies for a wide variety of purposes, including animal welfare issues.
Through our two greyhound stadia we assist with greyhound welfare issues, including funding an establishment that houses up to 25 dogs for up to three months with the intention of permanently re-homing them. Since January 2008, 819 greyhounds have been successfully re-homed. Every trainer affiliated to a William Hill track is required to complete a weekly return, listing dogs available for racing, injured dogs and those dogs that have left the trainer’s kennels. Trainers must provide full details of any individual to whom care of a dog has been passed.
We seek to support the communities in which we operate through charitable donations and employee activities. Our Group policy on charitable donations aims to support groups close to our business and to encourage employees' fundraising efforts through a matching scheme.
In 2011, we made charitable donations of £985,650, the largest proportion of which was £703,067 paid to the Responsibility in Gambling Trust (now the GREaT Foundation) in support of research, education and treatment of problem gambling. We made donations totalling £74,247 in support of employees' fundraising activities, an increase o f79% compared to 2010. During the year, we introduced a payroll giving scheme that allows employees to make donations directly to charities they choose.
We also engage with the local communities to combat crime. In December 2011, we launched an anti-robbery Crimestoppers campaign in conjunction with the launch of a Safe Bet Alliance initiative in Merseyside. Campaign literature was sent to postcode districts and posters were displayed in our shops and distributed by local Police Community Support Officers.
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