UK government could be contemplating a restriction on all day-time gambling ads
The freedom to advertise gambling on television before the 9pm watershed – already heavily restricted – could be removed altogether soon according to a report in today's (Friday) Times newspaper in the UK.
There is currently some day-time latitude for bingo operators and for betting company exposure during live sports event commercial breaks, but a senior government minister has apparently told a Times reporter that a new government review is likely to remove even this limited advertising opportunity, consigning all gambling-related adverts to the post-9pm space.
Quoting the Times report and a remark reportedly made by a "senior minister", The Sun newspaper said the government review will encompass the controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, gambling advertising, and even social media activity, with the minister commenting that the gambling industry's "luck has run out".
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is apparently concerned that weekend day-time advertising exposes the under aged to gambling advertisements and plans to commence its review soon.
The Sun claims that experts are worried that TV advertising is convincing minors that gambling is the norm in society.
Government is also said to be concerned that the number of punters with severe gambling problems has almost doubled over the past three years from 0.4 percent of the population to 0.7 percent. The increase is even greater among young people with the number of those with a serious problem having trebled to 1.5 percent for those aged 18 to 24, the newspaper reports.
Compliance with advertising restrictions is also a cause for concern, with the Advertising Standards Authority reporting that last month a quarter of complaints it received were related to betting.
A clampdown on daytime commercials for bingo and live sports events will likely have an adverse impact on television broadcasters, who could lose tens of millions of pounds in lost business, The Sun notes.
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