GambleAware calls for pre-watershed ban on broadcast gambling advertising

A survey found that two thirds of people think there are too many adverts for gambling.
A survey found that two thirds of people think there are too many adverts for gambling.

It also wants a ban on gambling sponsorship in sports.

UK.- GambleAware has recommended a pre-watershed ban on broadcast gambling advertising on television, radio and video on demand. The measure would expand on the current, voluntary whistle-to-whistle advert ban, which it said covers only 2 per cent of broadcast gambling ads. 

The industry-backed grant-making body also called for a ban on gambling marketing at sports events, including the removal of sponsorships from sports clothing, merchandise and stadiums. Premier League clubs have agreed to a voluntary ban on front-of-shirt gambling logos from the 2026-27 season, but logos will still be able to appear in other locations.

Gamble-Aware has also proposed a requirement for ads to include independent evidence-led health warnings with signposting to support. The calls come in the wake of a survey that found that close to three-quarters of British consumers want more regulations on gambling advertising. Two thirds of respondents believe there are currently too many gambling adverts.

Conducted by Ipsos, the study questioned 4,207 adults. Some 74 per cent of respondents said they would be in favour of more regulation on social media ads and 72 per cent on television. Some 67 per cent agreed that there were too many gambling adverts, 66 per cent were concerned about the impact on children and 61 per cent were against the appearance of gambling logos on football shirts.

Of those who had gambled in the last 12 months, 24 per cent said they took a gambling-related action after seeing an advert, rising to 79 per cent for those with problems related to gambling. Among these, 54 per cent said adverts made it hard for them to reduce their gambling, while 51 per cent said adverts made it difficult to watch professional football without wanting to bet. 

GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said: “Exposure to gambling advertising normalises gambling and makes it seem like just ‘harmless fun’ without showing the risks of gambling addiction and harm. This is why we have published our new report, to call on the next government to do more to regulate gambling advertising, particularly around sport where children and young people can see it.”

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