Voluntary ban on advertising sign-up offers (free bets and free money) on TV before 9pm
Voluntary ban on all advertising of B2 gaming machines (previously known as FOBTs) in shop windows
A major new advertising campaign to educate people about responsible gambling
New independent body and Standards Commissioner to hold industry to account
“We are listening” say industry leaders
The chief executives of Britain’s leading gambling companies have today joined forces to act on public concerns about gambling. In an open letter, published as full-page advertisements in the country’s national and regional newspapers, they announced the creation of a new independent watchdog, the Senet Group. It will be headed by an independent Standards Commissioner to hold the industry to account.
The voluntary measures will see an end to the advertising of sign-up offers on TV before the 9pm ‘watershed’, mindful of children and young people watching. This will be matched by a voluntary ban on the advertising of B2 gaming machines (previously known as fixed-odds betting terminals, or FOBTs) in shop windows and a commitment that 20 per cent of window advertising will carry responsible gambling messages. These measures come into force on 1 October 2014.
Richard Glynn, CEO of Ladbrokes said:
“Gambling has long been a leisure pursuit and part of the cultural fabric of the UK, but we are alive to the concerns of the public to keep gambling a responsible and fun activity”
The Senet Group, due to be fully up and running from January, will be charged with monitoring and enforcing compliance. It will be able to “name and shame” or impose fines on operators who breach the new advertising promises. It will also run a major advertising campaign to educate people about responsible gambling.
James Henderson, CEO of William Hill added:
“The launch of the Senet Group sets a benchmark by which we and the betting industry can be judged”
The Standards Commissioner will be appointed through a transparent appointment process, run according to the Nolan Principles.
Carl Leaver, CEO Coral, said:
“We are listening and taking action today to address public concerns. The creation of the Senet Group marks our commitment to the promises we make to you today.”
The voluntary measures, which go beyond those required by the Government and regulators, will apply to William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power. The companies are inviting other gambling operators to join the Senet Group as a mark of their commitment to responsible gambling standards.
Patrick Kennedy, CEO Paddy Power, said:
“Putting responsible gambling at the heart of our business is simply the right thing to do.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
- Senet, played in ancient Egypt, is thought to be one of the oldest games of chance.
- The Nolan Principles, developed by the Committee on Standards in Public Life are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.