Mayor of London pledges to ban gambling ads on the Tube

Sadiq Khan plans to ban gambling ads on the Tube.
Sadiq Khan plans to ban gambling ads on the Tube.

The incumbent mayor of London says he will ban gambling adverts on the London Underground system if he’s re-elected next month.

UK.- The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is up for reelection on May 6, has pledged to ban gambling advertisements on the Tube.

In his election manifesto, he says he will expand the current ban on junk food ads on the London Underground to cover gambling ads as well.

The manifesto reads: “I’ve already banned body-shaming advertisements and advertisements for foods high in fat, salt and sugar on the TfL network because of their impact on the health of Londoners. 

“Given the devastating way gambling addiction can destroy lives and families, I’ll instruct TfL to bring forward plans to extend the ban to harmful gambling advertisements on the network.”

Khan introduced a ban on advertising “food and non-alcoholic drinks high in fat, salt and/or sugar” in 2018, resulting in a loss of £13m a year in advertising revenue according to the public transport body Transport for London (TfL)

Extending the ban to cover gambling ads would come at a time when TFL already faces economic difficulty due to a dramatic drop in passenger revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. TfL expected income of £156m from its advertising estate in 2020/2021.

Increasing restrictions on gambling ads in the UK

Khan’s pledge comes amid increasing calls to restrict or ban gambling ads in the UK.

The city of Bristol has become the first local authority to ban gambling ads on all of its own platforms, including bus shelters and billboards.

The UK government is considering new restrictions as part of its review of gambling legislation. One option on the table is a ban on gambling sponsorship on sports. A recent survey commissioned by GamCare found public support for such a move.

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