first_imgPremier League Horse racing The law of supply and demand suggests the value of the advertising opportunities around the sport can go only one way. As a result the value of racing’s media rights, for instance, should also increase and the terrestrial rights in particular could be a very interesting proposition for a number of bidders when ITV’s contract expires at the end of 2020.As things stand, and assuming the bookies’ agreement holds, racing could offer not just the best but the only significant space on mainstream TV to advertise betting brands around sport.The bookies’ greatest fear, of course, is racing’s nightmare, too. What if a future government decides that even stricter regulation is required and introduces a blanket ban on gambling advertising? Nothing seems impossible in politics these days but Labour’s proposal included an exemption for racing and the industry is such an important employer that it is difficult to see either major party going that far.The days when racing accounted for the overwhelming majority of the bookies’ turnover are long gone but the sport remains, in many respects, the best and most compelling of all betting mediums.Any move that increases racing’s significance for the bookies can work only in the sport’s favour, because, like it or not – and there are still plenty who try to pretend otherwise – betting will always be vital for racing’s popularity and prosperity. Talking Horses: Eight tracks sign up to be part of team horse racing Share on Facebook Read more Share on Messenger Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Sportblog Topics Sport betting It is not often that bookmakers give in to pressure from anti-gambling groups without being forced to, so Thursday’s news that the biggest names in online betting will soon introduce a whistle-to-whistle ban on television advertising around sporting events is a collector’s item. Ray Winstone’s loss, many will feel, is the armchair fan’s gain.The market leaders in online gambling, including Bet365, SkyBet and Paddy Power Betfair, are all signed up to the voluntary ban, from which TV coverage of horse racing will be exempt. So, too, are the firms with big retail estates, such as Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill, who may – perhaps – have learned a lesson from their long, bitter and ultimately futile campaign to resist pressure for a cut in stakes on fixed‑odds betting terminals. Share via Email The agreement announced on Thursday in effect implements a proposal that was expected to feature in the next Labour manifesto, and does so, in all likelihood, at least three and a half years in advance of any legal requirement to do so.So, has the UK’s gambling industry suddenly decided that its opponents were right all along? Of course not. Their decision will have been taken after careful consideration of its long-term effect on profitability, versus the possible impact of even stricter regulation further down the line. The clear concern seems to be that, if they do not do something themselves, the alternative could be much, much worse.It is a calculated move, not a climbdown. And when it comes to football, which dominates the online market, it is also far from complete as it does not cover shirt sponsorships, for instance.But again this could have knock-on benefits for some British firms at least, since the overwhelming majority of betting‑related shirt sponsors are Asian firms with no significant customer base in the UK. If there are no gambling ads in the breaks, the Premier League could feel that the time is right to ban shirt sponsorships for gambling businesses, too – which would be no bad thing for high-profile UK-based bookies that operate in the Asian market.It is also significant that the bookies’ self-imposed ban covers the entirety of any sporting event bar racing that starts before 9pm, so there will be no blitz of ads post‑watershed. This means racing will soon find itself in the happy position of being the only sport around which the biggest names in betting are able to advertise, which could prove a significant boost for the only sport that has been intertwined with betting from its earliest days. Gambling comment Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Read more The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coveragelast_img

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