GVC’s Kenneth Alexander calls for betting leaders to commit to advertising restraints

Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive of FTSE100 gambling group GVC Holdings, thinks that the industry’s leading players must show restraint in advertising in order to win back the public’s trust.

Business news source City AM reports that Alexander will this week call for a ‘ban on gambling adverts being shown before the UK 9 pm watershed period’.

The boss of GVC wants competitors bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair to come together and minimize the saturation of betting/gambling related adverts being broadcast to UK audiences.

Alexander details that industry consensus supports his directive, as the majority of leadership believes that gambling/betting advertising during sports broadcasting has become too prominent. Furthermore, GVC’s leader details that a watershed restriction would protect younger audiences from engaging with betting-related content.

“We should make the changes collaboratively with the rest of the industry, which might be difficult, and ultimately it’s up to the government to decide if they want to legislate or not,” Alexander stated.

Betting advertising hit national headlines this September, as Labour Party Deputy Leader Tom Watson stated that Labour would implement a ‘whistle-to-whistle ban’ on betting advertising should they come to government.

This summer, industry marketing was widely criticized during the World Cup in Russia, as a study undertaken by The Guardian revealed that UK audiences were exposed to almost 90 minutes of betting related content during the football tournament.

Last week, Ian Angus, the UK Gambling Commission’s Programme Director, warned the industry that it was losing all consumer trust unless it rethought its marketing and advertising strategies.

“At a time when consumer trust in gambling is at an all-time low, it would be unwise for an industry to ignore the hardening public and political mood around advertising,” he said.

“For some, it’s a moral reaction; for others, it’s an irritant (stop bombarding me with gambling ads); but for many, including a growing number of researchers and academics, it reflects a genuine concern about the unknown impacts of children’s exposure to gambling advertising and sports sponsorship.”