William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, and Bet365 are among the companies supporting the ban on betting ads
According to reports, some major UK gambling companies are committed to stopping advertising during live sports broadcasts. Popular companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Bet365, and other members of the Remote Gaming Association (RGA) have agreed to the ban on betting advertisements.
The consequences were didn’t take long to notice. Already on Thursday it became known that the shares of 888 and GVC Holdings were down 4.6 percent and 4 percent respectively.
Who became the forerunner?
It comes after campaigners and public health experts have expressed their concern about the proliferation of gambling commercials, especially during football matches. Meanwhile, the Remote Gaming Association representatives said that nothing has been finalized yet and some changes are to occur.
Dr Heather Wardle of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine welcomed the news but said the proposed restrictions are just the beginning.
“Gambling is heavily advertised and marketed online, through social media and through sponsorship – where it is very difficult to control the receiver of such messages,” she said.
“The system needs to be considered as a whole, but suggestions to stop adverts around football matches is a good starting point.”
Gambling ban supporters are concerned the fact that children are growing up in a “different world” to their parents with technology always present in their lives. “The fact that it is reported one in eight 11- to 16-year-olds are following gambling companies on social media is very concerning.”
In fact, besides making billions in profits last year, the gambling industry providers invested money in research and treatment of gambling addiction. Meanwhile, a recent report by The Gambling Commission stated that about 430, 000 gamblers in the UK are considered as problem gamblers. Despite the fact that the number is not growing, the UK authorities remain concerned about the issue.
The Gambling Commission last week announced that three operators of online casinos would pay a combined £14m for failing to properly protect vulnerable gamblers and prevent money laundering.
Matt Zarb-Cousin of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling said pressure had forced online gambling firms to act.
“This is long overdue, but to be truly effective it must include all operators and should also commit to bans on shirt and league sponsorship, and pitch-side scrolling displays,” he added.