Potential CEO of William Hill Backs Curbs on TV Gambling Advertising
Philip Bowcock, the man widely believes to become the next CEO of William Hill, the UK’s second largest bookmaker, has offered his support for a curb on television gambling adverts.
In general, betting companies reject the idea that too many children and other vulnerable people see their adverts. However, in contrast Bowcock, who is currently finance director at the bookmaker, said that he understands people’s concerns.
Speaking this week he said, “I have teenage children and we are sympathetic to some sort of curb or some sort of review around the level of advertising.”
However, he said that William Hill is more cautious about glamorising gambling than some of its rivals. He said that they try to be responsible about what they promote and said that they “are a little bit more corporate”.
Bowcock, the interim CEO, is expected to be named chief executive within the next few weeks. His comments on advertising came as the company announced a 1% increase in pre-tax profit to £226 million.
At present the UK government is reviewing the potential harm caused by TV advertising. The industry in generally has been defensive about the impact on children of its adverts which are banned before the 9pm watershed except during sports events.
Last year The Remote Gambling Association, which William Hill is a member of, rejected the need for curbs on the industry while the Association of British Bookmakers has pointed out a number of voluntary measures such as the scrapping of adverts for free bets before the watershed.
Furthermore, some believe that any further restrictions on television advertising would have a limited effect on William Hill’s business due to the company’s strong high street presence.