GVC in call for advertising ban as part of new problem gambling measures
A call for gambling adverts to be banned around live football is one of a package of social responsibility measures unveiled by the parent company of Ladbrokes and Coral on Tuesday.
GVC Holdings also announced a multi-million-pound investment into a new community programme.
The extent of gambling advertising has become a subject of increasing criticism, with the Labour Party saying it would institute a "whistle-to-whistle" ban during sporting events, although horseracing may be exempt.
GVC said it recognised the concerns and has said it would support a move to ban gambling adverts around football before the 9pm watershed.
The company also said details of a "multi-million pound research partnership with one of the world’s leading academic institutions" to increase understanding of the scale of problem gambling online and ways of tackling it would be provided in the coming weeks.
GVC has additionally agreed a £500,000 partnership over two years with GamCare to roll out its youth outreach programme across the UK and will also double investment in their responsible gaming programme to more than £4 million in 2019.
Chief executive Kenny 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."
In addition, GVC has announced a new community programme to support aspiring athletes along with grassroots community and health projects.
Among the initiatives is a three-year partnership with the charity SportsAid to deliver funding for 50 Olympic hopefuls and the establishment of an independent community fund with £2m of seed funding to deliver small scale grants to local good causes who promote grassroots sports and tackle men's health issues.
Alexander added: "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."
GVC eyes California market
GVC has made a move anticipating the possible legalisation of sports betting in California by signing a deal with the United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC), which runs a casino resort near state capital Sacramento.
Along with joint venture partners MGM Resorts International, the company would offer its brands and technology to enable UAIC to offer retail and mobile sports betting, as well as online casino and poker, should they become legal.
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