Anna Bateson, Chief Executive of the Guardian Media Group, has declared that the news publisher will no longer accept any form of gambling advertising (except lotteries) across its media platforms.
The decision was announced via an open editorial article written by Bateson, titled, “All bets are off: Why the Guardian has rejected gambling advertising.”
Bateson cited that for a number of years, the Guardian highlighted the negative impacts of the gambling industry, with its journalists at the forefront of keeping gambling harms in the public agenda.
Yet concerns have grown on the widespread availability of gambling apps across the Guardian readership make-up of the UK, US and Australia – which is noted as the country with the highest annual gambling losses of AU$ 25bn (£13bn).
“We think now is the right time to say no to gambling advertising on all Guardian platforms, effective globally from 15 June 2023,” Bateson announced.
“Our new policy will apply to all online advertisements on the Guardian’s website, app, audio, video, and newsletters, as well as print advertisements in the Guardian and The Observer newspapers and Guardian Weekly.
“The policy covers all forms of gambling advertising, including sports betting, online casinos and scratchcards. Given the different nature of lotteries, we do not propose to include lottery advertising in this policy.”
As Chief Executive, Bateson recognises that gambling is a ‘matter of personal freedom’, yet ethical concerns remain on the “pervasive nature of retargeted digital advertisements that trap a portion of sports fans in an addictive cycle”.
The Guardian concluded that it “remains committed to responsible advertising practices and will continually review its policies to align with legal changes.”