Senior industry figures support further advertising regulation
Senior figures in the UK gambling industry have voiced support for further regulation towards the advertisement of gambling products.
Bosses of numerous UK operators have stated that restrictions should be introduced amid concerns that children are being exposed to gambling adverts due to little regulation towards pre-watershed gambling advertising.
Current regulation permits gambling adverts to be shown on TV before the 9pm watershed if they are shown during live sporting events.
Despite the growing concern among industry and government officials, the recent industry triennial review did not restrict advertising, due to little proof that is is doing harm.
However, experts have warned that the effects of the current barrage of gambling advertisements on young people may not become clear for many years.
Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill, said he is:
Sympathetic to some sort of curb or review around the level of advertising. Some sort of change is needed, but that has to be led by government. It’s incumbent on them to step up to the plate and have a serious discussion about it.– Philip Bowcock, William Hill chief executive
Paddy Power Betfair have also voiced concern and stated it is ‘supportive of further regulation’.
Labour party calls on Government to act
The Labour party has long advocated restricting how operators can advertise and has called on government to act on these concerns. Deputy leader of the party, Tom Watson, has been most vocal, saying:
The gambling industry has rarely been united over issues of social responsibility – so when operators are openly admitting that the level of gambling advertising has become a problem, we have to take it seriously. Gambling advertising on sports fixtures in particular is out of control. International research suggests that children and young adults in particular are increasingly targeted and exposed to gambling messages.– Tom Watson, Deputy leader of the Labour party
Earlier this year, Australia completely banned gambling adverts on TV, while Italy has very recently approved a motion to completely ban gambling adverts.
While advertising is widely allowed, the UK Gambling Commission recently unveiled new advertising standards operators must adhere by.