Betting giants pledge sports ad bans

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PA

Two UK betting giants have said they will change how they advertise as part of a move to fight problem gambling.

GVC, which owns the Ladbrokes, Coral and Gala brands, and William Hill say they are stopping football shirt sponsorship and perimeter adverts.

From August, the industry will also end advertising during most live sport.

It comes as the Gambling Commission launches its National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms after 10 weeks consultation.

The three-year strategy will coordinate work by health bodies, charities, regulators and businesses to reduce gambling harms.

The Commission estimates that about 430,000 people are experiencing problems with gambling.

Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that switching off customers from its gambling systems for safer gambling reasons had cost it an estimated £17m.

He wrote that he believed the company should continue to tackle problem gambling: “If that means taking some short-term commercial hits, so be it. Our future relies on customers who enjoy gambling and stay gambling with us for the long term – and that is dependent on them being safe.”

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