Many people within the gambling industry would agree with one contention in your editorial (Live gambling ads during sporting events are a sure bet against the vulnerable,9 June): that there is too much advertising of gambling products around live sport.
The more intractable question you don’t address is what to do about it, given the significant dependence that certain national broadcasters and sports have on the revenue derived from gambling advertising, and the anti-trust law restrictions placed on companies in discussing or formulating proposed remedies.
You also rightly point out that gambling is moving inexorably online, but the technology you decry for creating compulsion is in fact now part of the solution. The vast amounts of data accumulated on player behaviour, from time of play to customer deposits, creates a powerful tool with which to both identify problem gamblers and to intervene.
Sports betting promotions have undoubtedly proliferated, and change may be necessary, but a prohibitionist approach to gambling regulation has been proven throughout history to fail. In a data-driven society there are now many better solutions to balance freedom of choice with safety and responsibility.
Chair, Senet Group (promoting responsible gambling standards)
• Why did you add “before the watershed” to the next-to-last sentence in your editorial? What’s the watershed got to do with it? Vulnerable gamblers watch television at all hours of the night. At a stroke, you undermined the excellent argument of the rest of the article. This advertising should simply be banned. Full stop.
Source: The Guardian