GVC donates football sponsorship assets to GambleAware

2 August 2019

GVC Holdings is to donate branding rights from its football sponsorship deals to problem gambling charity GambleAware and its Bet Regret awareness camapign for the upcoming season.

The move will apply to sponsorship deals across England and Scotland, including GVC-owned Ladbrokes’ title sponsorship deal with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). In the case of the SPFL agreement, Ladbrokes will replace its logo on static interview backgrounds and LED boards with Bet Regret branding.

GVC will make similar arrangements with the 42 clubs with which it has relationships, including English Premier League teams Burnley and Sheffield United, as well as Championship clubs West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Wednesday.

The Bet Regret campaign launched earlier this year, with GambleAware targeting an estimated 2.4m young men aged 16-34 who bet regularly on sport, and of whom 87% regularly watch football.

“Whilst we want football fans to be able to enjoy a bet, we recognise the importance of doing this in a safe, responsible way,” GVC’s director of safe gambling, Patrick Kerr, said.

“Handing over this valuable inventory to GambleAware is a demonstration that we are committed to helping our customers bet in a safe and responsible way, and we look forward to continuing to promote the Bet Regret campaign in the future to help increase awareness about safer gambling.”

GambleAware chief executive, Marc Etches, added: “We are delighted that GVC Holdings has made this move to support the Bet Regret campaign. With the number of opportunities to bet and exposure to messages associated with gambling being so prevalent in football, it’s incredibly important that football fans think twice about betting when drunk, bored or chasing losses.”

In May, GambleAware reiterated calls for UK operators to offer further financial support its problem gambling efforts after revealing that industry funding failed to meet its 2018-19 target.

Voluntary donations from the industry during the 12 months to March 31, 2019 amounted to £9.6m (€10.5m/$11.6m), which, although marginally up on the previous year, is short of the £10m that GambleAware had asked of the market.

Paddy Power also recently unveiled its own campaign to cut gambling promotion in football, but still allow operators to strike commercial deals with clubs. Launched through a partnership with English Championship club Huddersfield Town, the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign calls for betting operators to stop striking shirt sponsorship deals with football clubs.

Paddy Power has followed up on the launch by signing a number of commercial deals with teams, but forgoing any rights to front-of-shirt sponsorship.

Image: Steve Daniels