The Guardian Media Group, publishers of the Guardian UK, are banning all forms of gambling advertising in their print and digital publications. It’s a move that the company’s Chief Executive, Anna Bateson says will help reduce, or at the very least stop promoting, problem gambling.
In an editorial explaining the new, and potentially costly, policy Bateson pointed out the massive growth that’s taken place in the gambling business in recent years. She points out that that growth is particularly acute in the UK and Australia which are, not coincidentally, parts of the world where Guardian publications thrive. The Guardian boss also talks at length about the ease with which modern gamblers can access the casino and sportsbook from their smart phones.
The Guardian’s move to ban gambling advertising comes with a tangible cost for the organization, but it’s one that Bateson is willing to absorb. “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 wrote.
Bateson’s new policy applies to the Guardian’s website, app, audio, video, and newsletters; as well as the Guardian and Observer newspapers and Guardian Weekly.
While the new policy will apply to online casinos, sports betting operators, and scratch card producers, there is an exception carved out lotteries. For some reason Bateson belives, “Given the different nature of lotteries, we do not propose to include lottery advertising in this policy.”
The Guardian’s new gambling advertising ban was implemented June 15.