26 Oct'17

Are we to expect tighter restrictions for gambling adverts ?

BBC report that the Victoria Derbyshire programme found 95% of TV advert breaks during UK football matches feature at least one gambling advert.


The Victoria Derbyshire show analysed twenty-five British football games that were aired on BT Sport, Sky Sports and ITV.


There was a total of 1324 commercials and sponsorship sections; 272 of which were gambling ads. This relates to a rate of one in five adverts from gambling firms. In some examples, this rate was even higher. For instance, in the Everton Apollon Limassol match on 28th September 40 per cent of ads and sponsorships were from gambling companies.


A spokesperson for Campaign for Fairer Gambling, expressed concern ‘about the impact to children and young people of being exposed to gambling advertising, due to the pre-watershed exemption for live sporting events.’


Gambling adverts can only be shown after 9pm, apart from live sporting events. It was the 2007 Labour government that allowed betting firms to have TV adverts. The government are now considering tighter restriction with a report expected to be published imminently.


The Local Government published a report last month stating greater curbs are needed on gambling advertising ‘to reduce the risk to vulnerable young people from potential gambling harm’.


Statistic reveal that many UK citizens suffer from gambling harm. NHS reveal there may be as many as 593,000 gamblers with a problem in Great Britain with only 5 per cent seeking help and 1 per cent receiving treatment.


The Times reported on a University of Bristol study that found 25 per cent of men aged between 18 and 24 had gambling problems varying in degrees of severity.


Could the UK government follow Australia and Belgium’s decisions to ban gambling adverts in live sports commercials before the watershed of 9pm?