Major British Bookies To Form A New Watchdog Body

Four top bookmakers team up in an effort to improve perceptions of the retail gambling industry

After months of unrelenting media, activist and political attacks, most of them focused on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in bookie retail shops, perceptions of the retail gambling industry may have been negatively skewed, but four of Britain's top bookmaking firms are taking remedial action.

The Telegraph newspaper reported over the weekend that Gala Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill have agreed to the formation of a new industry watchdog, which will be launched next week by the chief executives of the companies involved.

The watchdog will be set up in such a manner as to be independent of its founders, and its objective will be to monitor and police the industry to ensure compliance with a list of voluntary measures implemented by the companies.

It will be empowered to name and shame companies that behave badly, especially in cases of inaccurate or dishonest advertising and marketing.

"Among the voluntary measures, which the big four bookies hope will also be taken up by other operators, is a promise to scrap aggressive "sign-up" offers on television before the 9pm watershed – the kind of advertising where viewers are offered free bets or money," The Telegraph reports.

And all advertising for FOBTs will be removed from high street betting shops; Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power own a combined 7,000 high street betting shops.

Responsible gambling will be emphasised, with at least one-fifth of betting shop windows carrying appropriate messages encouraging this aspect.

Once the watchdog is up and running, it will also be deployed to push major advertising campaigns promoting responsible gambling.

The founding companies hope to have the as yet unnamed watchdog fully operational by January 2015.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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