GVC Holdings has committed to lowering the amount of gambling advertising it shows on UK television by declaring its support for a ban on ads before the 9pm watershed, as part of a wider community social responsibility (CSR) project.
Ladbrokes’ owner has set out a series of responsible gaming initiatives that will make up the programme, focusing on advertising, research, education and more investment.
GVC formally said in a statement it would back a move to ban betting ads shown during televised football matches before 9pm. In an interview published in the last few days, CEO Kenneth Alexander had already suggested he would be open to a reduction in advertising.
The firm said it will also soon reveal details of a multi-million pound research partnership with one of the world’s leading academic institutions to assess the extent of online gambling, identify the markers of harm across products and propose improvements to its own algorithms.
Other initiatives include a partnership with GamCare, whereby the organisation will roll out its Youth Outreach Programme across the UK, with the support of a £500,000 (€569,000/$653,000) investment from GVC.
In addition, GVC has pledged to double its investment in its responsible gaming programme to more than £4m in 2019.
Alexander said: “As a leader in the industry, we fully recognise the need to ensure we do everything we can to ensure an enjoyable experience for our players that minimises the potential to cause harm.
“The measures we have set out today demonstrate our commitment to take tangible action to understand and reduce the impact of problem gambling.”
Meanwhile, GVC has set out details of a new community programme to support aspiring athletes, grassroots community and health projects over the next three years.
This will include a partnership with SportsAid, which will deliver funding for 50 aspiring Olympians across the UK. The company will also set up an independent Community Fund, with £2m of seed funding for local good causes that promote grassroots sports and tackle men’s health issues.
In addition, GVC will continue to run its existing Ladbrokes Coral Trust, pro-bono colleague volunteering scheme and fund various responsible gambling charities such as Gamble Aware and GamCare.
Alexander said: “Today’s unique investment highlights the new commitment that the company will be taking to invest and support the communities we serve.
“Through these partnerships we are delighted to be supporting the sporting heroes of the future as well as the local clubs where many of them have started their aspiring careers.”
SportsAid CEO Tim Lawler backed the plans, saying: “It’s an important time for British sport and SportsAid is well-placed to make a positive contribution.
“Support such as this from GVC, along with their aim to champion women in sport and disability sport in particular, enables SportsAid to continue making a real difference to the next generation of athletes.”