UK Gambling News – Operators, Owners And The UKGC

Viktor Vangelov | Published 14 May 2019, 12:45 p.m.

Here are the latest gambling news from the UK.

GVC Challenging Other Operators Not To Advertise During Sports Events

One of the largest UK operators GVC decided to go one step further than the whistle-to-whistle marketing embargo. Namely, since August this year, betting and gambling operators will no longer be allowed to air commercials during live football events.

GVC are definitely going the extra mile by stopping all advertising on all live sports events, not just football. The industry giant that owns Ladbrokes, bwin, Coral, Party Casino and many other major brands, urges its competitors to make a similar pledge. However, it doesn’t seem that there’ll be a positive answer, as most competitors question GVC’s motives for doing this.

Kenny Alexander, GVC CEO, argues that a ban only on live football is basically just playing around the edges, adding that operators should really commit to their customers and protect them from any potential harm. Alexander also said that while most of their customers are just playing for fun, there are people who have a problem and that should be acknowledged and recognised by the industry and that his company is making a step in that direction.

Other operators feel that GVC are only doing this to limit their competition’s marketing efforts and to stop them from developing effective marketing strategies. William Hill have reportedly agreed to follow GVC though, as they have done previously in the past on numerous occasions.

Owners Of Bet365 Enter UK Top 20 Wealthiest List

Owners of one of the most popular betting and gambling operators in the UK, the Coates family, have now moved to the top 20 list of richest people in the UK. The family – John, Peter and Denise Coates to be more precise, own 93% of Bet365 are collectively worth £6.85 billion, an increase of over £1 billion since last year. Thanks to this increase in wealth they made it to 19th position. Last year they were ranked 21st.

The Coates family are among UK’s top taxpayers, they were ranked second in 2018. The tax bill amounted to £156 million for the tax year 2017-18. Owners of Ritz Hotel Casino came in 17th place with a total worth of £8 billion.

Should The UKGC And Its Work Be Scrutinised As Well?

UK operators and their marketing attempts have been under the spotlight in the past few months or so. In fact, there have been more than few operators that were fined or warned. In April the ASA banned a number of ads that were accessible by children. Among the operators whose ads were banned we had big names like Play OJO and Unibet.

Operators and other stakeholders feel that the Commission and its work should be scrutinised as well. Recently the Commission shared its findings with an online paper which was regarded as controversial, especially since the findings referred to children gambling, and it was almost certain that they will not be presented in the right manner.

The actual findings showed that most underage gambling is actually legal as it involves minors making wagers among themselves, which is not forbidden, whereas the small majority that are actually gambling online illegally are doing it with their parents’ permission. The publishing of these findings led to increased pressure on the Commission to ban credit card gambling and the calls to introduce a mandatory levy have also intensified.