A leading UK gambling industry body has declared the industry ban on advertising on live sport a success.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has said that the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on gambling advertisements for the duration of televised sporting events in the UK has reduced the number of gambling promotions seen by children by 97%.
Brought into effect on August 1 last year, the ban means that gambling advertising is not allowed to be shown on pre-watershed sports from a period five minutes before the event begins until five minutes after the conclusion, though horse and greyhound racing are exempt .
Research carried out by a media company found that the number of gambling adverts witnessed by individuals in the 4-17 age group had fallen by 97% while the overall number of gambling advertisements seen by children during live sport dropped by 70%.
The analysis also found that there were 1.7 billion fewer views of betting ads during the first five months of the new ban, while total gambling advertising exposure during live sport broadcasts dropped by 78%. There was also no evidence that these ads had been displaced to different evening sports broadcasts as the number of post-watershed gambling adverts fell by over a quarter.
Speaking about the findings, the Chief Executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, said that the ban had effectively removed childrens’ exposure to these types of adverts, and that it underlined the commitment of BGC members to sustainable and safe gambling:
“The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment and I’m pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation. I am determined that the BGC will lead a race to the top in terms of industry standards and we want to drive more changes in the future.”
Among the changes planned for the industry are a new code of conduct for sponsorship and advertising, in addition to the current rule of 20% of ad time being devoted to responsible gambling messaging. The BGC will also promote deposit limts, and more money for research, education and treatment. Dugher also urged the UK government to work with them in order to tackle black market operators, who he said had no interest in protecting customers.
The BGC has also praised the Welsh government for their decision to allow casinos to reopen after a period of closure. The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said that the four casinos in Wales, with a total workforce of 300 people, will be able to reopen from August 29. This follows the reopening of English casinos from August 15 and a similar decision to reopen in Scotland from August 24