UK bookmakers unveil self-regulation initiative

15 September 2014

Leading bookmakers Ladbrokes, William Hill, Gala Coral and Paddy Power have announced the establishment of a new voluntary self-regulation scheme as part of a commitment to ensure more responsible advertising.

The four bookmakers said in an open letter that they would sign up to a set of rules and establish a watchdog in response to concerns over the number of gambling advertisements in the UK.

Under the plans, a new watchdog will be established in order to oversee the operators’ pledge to fund a new advertising campaign on responsible gambling and to ensure that television advertising carries more responsible gambling measures.

Although the new campaign is not due to start until next year, the bookmakers will make a number of other changes to their advertising strategies prior to this.

From October 1, each of the bookmakers said they would remove advertising of fixed odds betting terminals from shop windows, introduce an advertising ban on promotional offers before 9pm and commit 20% of advertising in shop windows to responsible gambling messages.

Although the initiative has so far only attracted the support of the four bookmakers, other operators are invited to join.

“We... will continue to work constructively with the government and the regulator to improve standards of player protection," the letter signed by the chief executives of the four operators said.

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