Gambling safety and player protection often make itself heard within Parliament and the House of Lords. It is a topic that senior figures want to discuss and get right in the interests of the UK public.
Recently, a select committee from the House of Lords listened to the chief executive of GVC, Kenny Alexander, who discussed the contemporary issues. He stated that the general public are confronted with too much noise, and there are currently too many betting adverts.
The Key Details
The GVC boss was one of many senior figures attending the House of Lords from the gambling sector. All of whom were there to give evidence and discuss the current issues; with the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry Committee.
The relationship between gambling and elite sport, as well as industry advertising, took up most of the time in the almost-two-hour session. During which the controversial and well-known campaign leading the slogan, ‘when the fun stops, stop’ was announced to be stopped.
When industry leaders were questioned by Lord Butler of Brockwell on what they want the committee to consider, the GVC boss reiterated his point of everything being too much, from advertising and specifically sponsorship within sport. This has been raised before with the current Premier League season having more than 50% of teams with gambling sponsors. The committee agreed to this request from Alexander.
However, not everyone in attendance agreed that advertising posed an issue for players and potential gambling addiction. Most notably Sky Betting chief, Conor Grant, suggesting that 70% of Sky’s betting adds relayed a safe gambling message to viewers. He wanted the committee also to realise the positive additions that advertisements offer as well as criticising them.
John Coats, who is both owner of Stoke City FC and an executive at Bet365 declared his concerns about the connection between gambling advertising and elite football, suggesting that the revenue helps provide fans with free travel and cheaper match tickets.
When questioned about what would happen if the relationship was reduced, Coats claimed that Stoke City considers this money as essential to operations.
Other Notable Topics and Comments
Along with the above, many other questions and important points were raised, including:
- Criticism of the aforementioned advertising slogan was responded to with an announcement that they recognised the criticism. As saying it was actually a gambling advert above anything else, and that the slogan was being pulled.
- A ban on in-play betting was debated with William Hill representatives claiming this sort of exposure had been reduced by over 90%.
- Dan Taylor, chief executive of Paddy Power, suggested that Gambling Act 2005 should now be looked at to improve clarity between industry players and the law.
The committee will now discuss issues before replying to statements and taking action.