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CEO of Sky UK & Ireland Slams Rumoured Gambling Advertisement Ban

By on Sunday, 16 December 2018
Sky

The CEO of Sky has slammed a rumoured ban on gambling advertisements during live sporting events.

Numerous reports have suggested that the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) accepted a ban on gambling advertisements during live sports events. While the RGA has denounced the rumours, many industry officials have shared their support on the ban.

Stephen van Rooyen, the CEO of Sky UK and Ireland, however, isn’t a supporter of the ban and actually slammed the proposal this week, calling it “flawed”.

Writing for The Times, Rooyen stated that the proposal wouldn’t work as around 80% of gambling advertisements actually take place online, saying: “You could be forgiven for thinking this sounds a reasonable plan.

“The truth is the facts paint a very different picture. What the RGA has failed to address is the inconvenient truth that over 80% of the gambling industry’s advertising is in the largely unregulated online world.”

Rooyen also suggested that the RGA and gambling companies work harder to protect vulnerable gamblers. He said: “If the RGA and gambling companies are serious about protecting vulnerable customers, then they should start looking at where they spend the most money, what has the least level of regulation and where there is most evidence of harm: the online world.”

He continued: “Last month we voluntarily agreed to limit the number of gambling ads to one per commercial break. And we’re using our AdSmart technology to enable people to block gambling advertising if they wish. As a result, there will of course be some financial impact to Sky, but a proportionate and responsible limit to gambling advertising is the right thing to do.”

The Ban on Gambling Advertisements

The recent call on gambling advertisements during live sporting events comes after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received an overwhelming number of complaints about the number of gambling advertisements broadcasted during the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission announced a crackdown on gambling advertisements and the Labour Party proposed to ban gambling ads during live events.

A ban on gambling advertisements during live events and before the 9 PM watershed was then backed by the Church of England and the leader of Coral and Ladbrokes. This, in turn, prompted Sky to limit the number of commercials per ad break.