British Gambling Firms Agree to Television Sports Advertising Ban

World Cup

Several leading British gambling companies have agreed to a television advertising ban.

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which owns Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, voluntarily agreed to ban adverts during live sports games.

The news comes as the Church of England, the Labour party and the general public urge for a crackdown on the number of gambling advertisements broadcasting on television.

A recent report revealed that more than 90 minutes of gambling adverts were shown during the 2018 World Cup, prompting fears that the advertisements contribute to the rise of gambling addictions and the number of children with gambling problems.

The RGA’s announcement comes after extensive talks between firms to ensure that adverts will not be broadcast for a defined period before and after live sports events. The firms involved in the talks include SkyBet, Betfred, Betfair, Stan James, Gala Coral and William Hill.

According to the BBC, the RGA previously said it was “very mindful of public concerns” regarding gambling advertisements and the rise of problem gamblers.

Meanwhile, horse racing will be exempt from the restrictions but all other sports will be included. Football is the sport that will be affected the most.

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) needs to formally approve the agreement before it comes into force. The ban, when signed by the IGRG, is expected to come later this month or in early 2019.

Gambling Problems

As mentioned, there’s been a huge call for a ban on gambling advertisements for several months due to recent reports and studies. The UK Gambling Commission announced last month that the number of children aged 11 to 16 with a gambling problem had quadrupled to 55,000 over the last two years.

Meanwhile, the Commission partnered up with local authorities to launch an investigation on pubs throughout the UK. They discovered that almost 90% of all pubs failed to prevent children from gambling on their premises.

However, leading gambling charities and the other organisations are attempting to tackle the rise of problem gambling among adults and children.

Sky TV announced in November that it would be limiting the number of gambling advertisements broadcasted during commercial breaks. Meanwhile, the NSH partnered with GameAware and announced plans to launch a brand new gambling addiction centre in Leeds next year.