Global sports betting and gaming group GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, has called for an end to all UK sports-betting broadcast advertising on live and repeated sporting events, with the exception of horse racing.

GVC Holdings

Under GVC’s proposals, advertising specifically promoting responsible gambling and safer gambling campaigns would be permitted, but strictly limited to one advertisement per commercial break.

The call goes far further than the forthcoming pre-watershed, whistle-to-whistle advertising ban which is set to be introduced at the start of the 2019-20 football season in August.

While GVC helped to bring about the new restrictions, the company believes they do not go far enough, and is calling on its industry peers to join it in helping to revolutionise the marketing of gambling brands.  

In addition to the call for a broadcast advertising ban, the group is also announcing further initiatives as part of its “Changing for the Bettor” safer gambling campaign to tackle the issue of gambling related harm head-on.

These include a short sponsorship and perimeter advertising ban, increased investment in RET (research, education and treatment) to one per cent by 2022, new treatment centres and safer gambling software.

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.”