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Guardian Axes Gambling Advertising

The Guardian Media Group, publishers of the Guardian newspapers, has stopped accepting advertising from gambling operators across its media platforms. The newspapers editorial board explained that the move was aimed at reducing the harm caused by problem gambling, a problem the newspaper says is exacerbated by the ready availability of online gambling via mobile phone apps.

The ban, which had not been previously announced or discussed, was implemented last week and explained in an editorial by Guardian Chief Executive, Anna Bateson titled, All bets are off: why the Guardian has decided to reject gambling advertising. In the article, Bateson lays out some shocking statistics about the worldwide gaming such as the fact that Australia, “holds the unenviable title of having the highest gambling losses globally.”

Bateson also points out that public support for reigning gaming industry advertising is growing and that the Guardian is embracing that change. “Ultimately, we believe that our primary obligation is to do the right thing for our readers, which is why we’ve decided that there are other ways to generate revenue,” she said.

She went on to say that today’s digital gambling market was so much different, and makes people more susceptible to problem gambling, that they just couldn’t do it anymore. “The Guardian is committed to responsible advertising practices that will have a positive impact on society. High-quality advertising is welcome on our platforms, and plays an important role in helping to fund the Guardian’s journalism, something more and more brands and agencies mention in our conversations, she added.

The Guardian’s new policy went into effect as June 15 and applies to all gambling products except lotteries.