Issuing a corporate statement, the governance of FTSE100 gambling group GVC Holdings has this morning called for an end to all ‘UK sports-betting broadcast advertising, at any time of the day’.
In its statement, GVC declares that it believes that the inbound ‘TV whistle-to-whistle’ advertising ban, set to be implemented from 1 July will not serve the industry for its heightened responsibility agenda.
Updating the market, 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.”
In addition to its call for a ‘complete broadcast ban’ on UK gambling advertising, GVC proposes four new directives supporting its ‘Changing for the Bettor’ corporate mandate.
1. Shirt sponsorship and perimeter advert ban – GVC has committed to unilaterally ending all football shirt sponsorship deals with UK teams and will further end perimeter board advertising at football grounds. 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 – GVC commits to doubling its spend on RET (Research, Education and Treatment) from 0.2% of UK gross gambling revenue in 2019 to raising its contribution 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.
“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,” Alexander continued.
“The industry should and can do more to protect the vulnerable, and today’s announcement demonstrates GVC’s commitment to delivering on that.”