Ladbrokes Boss Calls for Ban on TV Gambling Ads Before Watershed


The boss of Ladbrokes, one of the UK’s biggest bookmakers, has called for a ban on gambling advertisements being shown before the 9 pm watershed.

In an interview with City A.M., Kenny Alexander, the Chief Executive of Ladbrokes and the owner of Coral, stated that the number of ads appearing during football games got “out of hand”.

He also urged the rest of the gambling industry to follow his lead and tighten up gambling regulations in the interview.

Alexander said: “Most people in the gambling industry think there are far too many ads. We should make the changes collaboratively with the rest of the industry, which might be difficult, and ultimately it’s up to the government to decide if they want to legislate or not.”

He also spoke on how the industry should ban ads before the 9 pm watershed in order to stop younger generations from being exposed to gambling.

He said: “Particularly around the watershed, the most vulnerable to gambling are the younger generation. Those who can gamble as well as those who can’t at the moment but will be able to in a year or two.

Alexander ended the interview by suggesting that if all firms collaborated then changes to gambling advertisements would be implemented “by the end of the year”.

“It could affect business but it there’s a level playing field then it will affect everybody in the same way,” he added.

Television Gambling Advertisements

Alexander’s comments come after an investigation conducted by the Guardian discovered that World Cup viewers, including children, sat through almost 90 minutes of betting and gambling ads.

Later on, betting firms were accused of using psychological tricks in advertisements to manipulate customers into placing bets quickly and targeting vulnerable viewers.

Last month, the Labour party announced a series of new gambling-related policies which they believe will help tackle problem gambling.

The policies included a £100 million-a-year levy on gambling operators to help fund addiction treatment, a new rule allowing addicts to ask their bank to block gambling transactions and a ban stopping people from using credit cards to pay for bets.

In addition to that, the UK Gambling Commission announced new rules to protect gamblers, raise standards in the gambling market and improve the way the industry is regulated in August.

The rules, which come into effect this month, allows the Gambling Commission to impose unlimited fines for advertising breaches including promotional gambling campaigns that appeal to children and glamorise gambling or advertisements that mislead customers.