Ladbrokes is planning to dig deep into data gathered through its Odds On loyalty scheme to flag up at-risk customers, as part of a new strategy to promote responsible gambling across all areas of its business.
The move is one measure being planned by a new Ladbrokes “social responsibility committee” , which will report to the board on the development of responsible gambling, as well assess the company’s performance against key social responsibility targets.
However, despite claims its latest TV campaign is the first to promote responsible gambling, the ad, featuring “the betting men” – ‘the believer’, ‘generous john, ‘Mr. Brightside’, ‘the professor’ and ‘gut truster’ – is already being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority. The regulator received 82 complaints about the ad in its first two weeks on air.
Consumers have objected to lines such as “when you win, get them in”, “when you win it’s skill, when you lose it’s bad luck” and “no odds too long, no dream too great”. In response, Labrokes has accused complainants of “having a sense of humour failure”.
Gambling ads are under close scrutiny from Parliament, with MPs concerned about the role they play in excessive gambling. The Government has already announced several measures to promote responsible gambling, while the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the ASA are currently conducting a review into the industry’s practices.
Unbowed, group chairman Peter Erskine – who sits on Ladbrokes social responsibility committee – said: “It is clear that trust in bookmakers has been impacted by negative publicity and lobbying in the last year, and while we may believe that much of the concern is ill founded, we accept that it is only by our actions will be able to win it back.
“The social responsibility committee, chaired by John Kelly with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the gambling industry, is a significant step in this process.”
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