A major player in the UK gambling industry has proposed a complete ban on all betting adverts during television sports broadcasts, as well as an end to gambling companies sponsoring football shirts.
GVC, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral, issued the proposals in a press release on Thursday, in which Chief Executive Kenny Alexander said that the UK industry needed to go further in its efforts to protect vulnerable people from the risk of gambling harm.
Alexander said that there should be a 24/7 ban on gambling advertisements during all sports broadcasts, with the exception of horse racing. Ladbrokes and Coral have committed to cancelling all football shirt sponsorship arrangements, and they will also end pitch-side advertising, in order, they say, to enable fans to watch football without being presented with an incentive to bet.
GVC’s measures go much further than the current proposals put forward by the industry, which involve a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling marketing during live sports broadcasts before the watershed, which is due to kick in from August this year, but it replicates the policy of the Labour Party, which was announced in 2017. According to GVC, commercials that are specifically focused on responsible gambling should be permitted at the rate of no more than one per ad break.
Ladbrokes and Coral are the current sponsors for a diverse range of high-profile sports events including the Scottish Premiership and the Rugby League Challenge Cup, and it is not clear what their future policy on sponsoring tournaments will be.
GVC, which purchased Ladbrokes Coral last year, has also committed to diverting 1 percent of its revenue from gambling into projects focusing on research and treatment of gambling problems; a figure that is ten times higher than the current levy on the industry.