GVC Calls For Complete UK Gambling Advertising Ban

UK’s largest gambling company GVC Holdings calls for complete ban on UK sports broadcast advertising, along with even more restrictions.

UK’s largest gambling company GVC Holdings has openly called for a complete ban on UK sports betting broadcast advertising in the UK.

The company, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral, made the dramatic call as it also announced a slew of new safer gambling initiatives.

It is advocating that all UK sports betting broadcast advertising is completely prohibited, at any time of day, and on both live and repeated events, with the exception of horseracing and advertising that is specifically promoting responsible gambling – but even then it would be limited to just one ad per commercial break.

Though there is already an industry-wide self-imposed “whistle-to-whistle” advertising ban set to come in to effect with the start of the 2019-20 football season this August, GVC is proposing things go even further.

As part of it’s ‘Changing for the Bettor’ safer gambling campaign, GVC is also announcing more initiatives. According to a company statement, these include:

  • Shirt sponsorship and perimeter advert ban – GVC has committed to unilaterally ending all football shirt sponsorship deals with UK teams and banning perimeter board advertising at football grounds, to allow sporting fans to watch their favourite teams without seeing any incentives to bet. The Company calls on its industry peers and UK football governing bodies to support this move and take action in this area.
  • Increased investment in RET – Having been the first and only operator to commit to doubling spending on RET (Research, Education and Treatment) to 0.2% of UK gross gambling revenue in 2019, GVC has committed to raising this to 1% by 2022 – ten times the current minimum requirement.
  • Treatment centres – GVC is establishing a new independent trust with the aim of making charitable contributions to fund treatment of problem gambling. The Leon House centre in Manchester has been identified as the first preferred recipient.
  • Safer gambling software – To help those customers that are struggling with their gambling, we will offer the GamBan software, free to any individual who is showing signs of problematic play.

Commenting on the new proposals GVC’s CEO, Kenny Alexander, said:

“Whilst the vast majority of our customers enjoy our products responsibly, it is high time that the industry did more to protect its customers from potential harm.

“As the UK’s largest gambling company, and owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, we at GVC are doing exactly that. I call on our industry peers to help us bring about an end to broadcast advertising which promotes sports-betting in the UK no matter the time of day.

“Increasing investment in research, education and treatment ten-fold by 2022, funding treatment centres and using technology to intervene before a problem develops, alongside our existing behavioural analytics, brings to life our commitment to be the most trusted and enjoyable betting operator in the world.

“The industry should and can do more to protect the vulnerable, and today’s announcement demonstrates GVC’s commitment to delivering on that.”

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