GVC Wants New Responsible Gambling Laws to Ban TV Betting Ads

Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC Holdings has made a daring move in an effort to become the UK’s leading responsible gambling advocate.

GVC responsible gambling initiative

Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC has called for a ban on all UK TV betting and gaming adverts. (Image: Dan Prince)

Taking its Changing for the Bettor campaign further than anyone would have expected, the operator wants a blanket ban on gambling ads.

Announcing a series of new initiatives on April 25, GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander said he wants to up the ante on safer gambling. At the heart of his proposals are calls for an end to “all UK sports betting broadcast advertising.”

Proposals Put Pressure on GVC Peers

For the rules to become a reality, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) would have to sanction them. However, if they did come into force, it would see an end to gambling adverts at any time of the day.

What’s more, betting content (like that shown in the video below) would be outlawed before, during and after sporting events.

The only exemption would be horse racing and responsible gambling adverts, which would be limited to one per commercial break.

Calls for fewer gambling adverts are nothing new. In 2018, new rules limiting the times betting content can be shown were made official.

These guidelines will come into force over the summer but GVC wants to take things a step further.

“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,” reads the April 25 press release.

In stating that the whistle-to-whistle ban doesn’t “go far enough,” Alexander is echoing the sentiments of Lord Kirkhope.

Responsible Gambling Won’t Hinder GVC Growth

However, while a ban on betting ads will help responsible gambling efforts, what does it do for GVC? According to Alexander, the proposals are designed to protect consumers and, in turn, put pressure on other UK operators.

“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,” the GVC CEO stated.

By design, GVC will be hurting part of its own business if the new proposals became a reality. However, it could still peddle its wares online via social media platforms.

What’s more, it would still be able to advertise on TV channels outside of the UK. As well as interests in Europe, GVC formed a partnership with MGM Resorts in August 2018.

That deal gave it a footing in the US market and access to a new wave of sports betting initiatives. With these ventures potentially being as lucrative, if not more so, than its UK operations, the proposals may not be act of self-sabotage.

Regardless of the impact on its core business, GVC’s push for more responsible gambling efforts is timely. The UKGC has been introducing tighter controls over the last three years and any calls for positive action will be welcomed.

Moreover, for consumers, these ongoing discussions should ultimately lead to a better overall experience.

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