Apr 25, 2019

GVC urges end to broadcast gambling ads

GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbrokes Coral bookmakers, has called for an end to all broadcast advertising for sports betting in the UK, as well as a ban on football shirt sponsorship and hoardings amid mounting pressure to curb incentives to gamble in sport. The group unveiled a package of measures on Thursday aimed at protecting vulnerable gamblers, including ending all football shirt sponsorship deals with UK teams, banning perimeter board advertising at football grounds and increasing spending on gambling treatment centres and education. The UK's biggest gambling companies, including William Hill, Betfred and Bet365 among others, in December all agreed to stop advertising during live sports broadcasts in a move co-ordinated by trade body the Remote Gambling Association. Deputy leader of the Labour party Tom Watson labelled gambling an "Epidemic" last year, pointing to more than 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK. He called for a ban on betting in live sports events, as well as a crackdown on credit card bets and a betting levy to fund treatment for gambling addiction. The broadcaster also vowed last year to develop AdSmart technology to enable people to block gambling ads while watching Sky and Virgin Media TV. Football is expected to be the sport most affected by gambling advertising restrictions, with about 90 minutes of gambling adverts shown during the football World Cup according to industry funded charity GambleAware.

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