The Gambling Commission are undertaking a three-year national strategy that they say will cut down gambling-related harm, that strategy is set to impact Sunderland with betting giant GVC saying that they will pull out of all of their existing shirt sponsorship deals as part of their ‘Changing for the Bettor’ initiative.
GVC has today committed to unilaterally ending all football shirt sponsorship deals with UK teams and banning perimeter board advertising at football grounds, to allow sporting fans to watch their favourite teams without seeing any incentives to bet. The Company calls on its industry peers and UK football governing bodies to support this move and take action in this area.
GVC are the parent company of Sunderland’s principal partner BETDAQ, who also sponsor the club’s shirts. The club signed a ‘multi-year’ deal with BETDAQ but it appears as if that partnership will not continue with GVC committed to tackling harm caused by gambling.
Speaking about his company’s new proposals, GVC’s CEO Kenny Alexander said:
Whilst the vast majority of our customers enjoy our products responsibly, it is high time that the industry did more to protect its customers from potential harm. As the UK’s largest gambling company, and owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, we at GVC are doing exactly that. I call on our industry peers to help us bring about an end to broadcast advertising which promotes sports-betting in the UK no matter the time of day.
Increasing investment in research, education and treatment ten-fold by 2022, funding treatment centres and using technology to intervene before a problem develops, alongside our existing behavioural analytics, brings to life our commitment to be the most trusted and enjoyable betting operator in the world.”
The industry should and can do more to protect the vulnerable, and today’s announcement demonstrates GVC’s commitment to delivering on that.
Although GVC intend to pull out of all shirt sponsorship deals, which obviously includes Sunderland - and League One rivals Charlton Athletic - the suggestion we are hearing is that as part of the withdrawal, Sunderland will receive the full payment due as part of the original deal.