GVC pushes for complete ban on gambling ads

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
GVC pushes for gambling ad ban

GVC Holdings has called on industry rivals to support an end to all sports betting TV ads in the UK with the exemption of horseracing. 

In December 2018, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) voluntarily agreed to stop advertising on any live sports broadcasting before or ending after 9pm as of August 2019. This included some of the UK’s biggest sportsbook sites including Betfred Casino, SkyBet and William Hill.

However, GVC Holdings is pushing for a complete ban on sports betting TV ads and shirt sponsorships.

GVC’s CEO Kenneth 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.”

The owners of Ladbrokes and Coral spend a third of its UK marketing budget a year on sports advertising, which is around £45m.

Call for change

GVC Holdings has also announced its Changing for the Bettor safer gambling campaign to tackle the issue of responsible gambling head-on. These include:

1. Shirt sponsorship and perimeter advert ban – GVC has today 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.

2. 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 today committed to raising this to 1% by 2022 – ten times the current minimum requirement.

3. 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.

4. 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.

If you’re worried about your gambling or know someone who may have a problem, please check out our Responsible Gambling page for more information.