GVC Holdings are ready for the UK to take the next step in their creeping ban on advertising. In a corporate announcement posted to their website, the sports betting and gambling operator is now calling on the UK to end all sports-betting broadcast advertising.
The decisions to push for a harder ban apparently comes because GVC doesn’t feel the current plan goes far enough. The group that runs both Ladbrokes and Coral infers that the whistle-to-whistle ban doesn’t do enough to keep the public safe from problem gambling, and so a total broadcast ban is necessary.
GVC’s CEO Kenny Alexander said in the release:
“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.”
They want to go as far as possible with their effort, and call on others to join them. They want shirt and permiter ads gone, and have cancelled their own deals for those mediums. They want more investment in the research, education and treatment (RET) of problem gambling, and have upped their contribution for that effort. They’re setting up new treatment centres to help fight problem gambling. Finally, they offer the GamBan software, which helps block gambling sites, absolutely free. Many of these efforts don’t require new laws and show GVC’s dedication to improving UK society.
Alexander’s comment gives a bit of extra context to this call to action though. With no gambling advertising, some may be less tempted to gamble on a regular basis, but it’s unlikely that those already committed to the practice are going to totally stop. With GVC’s brands already being some of the more popular offerings, they protect their market share if their competitors are unable to put out advertising.
It also forces one to recall the recent advice from Italian operator SKS365’s general counsel Bepi Pezzuli in the face of Italy’s restrictive rules on problem gaming. Problem gamblers aren’t going to stop because they didn’t see an ad, and those who are prone to want to gamble might end up in the black market if they don’t know the more legitimate options.