A new YouGov poll for the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has suggested major support for a ban on gambling adverts.
According to the RSPH website, the YouGov survey polled 12,247 people and found that 77% of adult respondents and 66% of 11 to 17 year-olds said they support a ban on gambling ads on radio and television before 9 PM.
What’s more, 63% of adult respondents and 53% of young people said they support a complete ban on adverts for gambling products, compared to only 14% of adults and young people who oppose a complete ban.
The RSPH’s survey also found that 76% of adults and 64% of young people support a ban on gambling adverts being shown before 9 PM on social media and online, a further 65% of adults and 54% of young people support a ban on gambling companies sponsoring events or teams, and around 76% of adults support a mandatory gambling industry levy to support safer gambling measures.
Christina Marriott, the Chief Executive of RSPH, said in a statement: “Advertising is a powerful force in our society – it not only influences what we buy, but it also tells us what is normal, and what we should aspire to.
“Given the harm that gambling can inflict on individuals, families, workplaces and communities, we need to take a stronger stand against it being embedded into our social and cultural lives. We no longer allow air time to other products which harm our health, like tobacco products: gambling should be no different.”
MP Carolyn Harris, the Chair of the Gambling Related-Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group, added: “There is strong public and parliamentary support for a ban on gambling advertising. Gambling companies claim there is no evidence that gambling advertising causes harm.
“In fact, there is extensive evidence that shows how harmful gambling advertising can be and, in particular, the impact gambling adverts can have on children. Gambling advertising should be banned to protect children and those at risk from gambling harm.”
The news comes as the general public and campaigners have voiced concern about gambling adverts and sports sponsorships too, which campaigners have said can push vulnerable people to gamble.
Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week dismissed a complaint against Ladbrokes over an ad for The Goonies video slot.
The Ladbrokes ad in question appeared as a Facebook post on March 31, 2021, featuring an image of a map with the game and the Jackpot King mechanic’s logo, as well as golden doubloons. The complainant suggested that the ad, which references the hit 80s film The Goonies which the slot is based on, was likely to appeal to people under the age of 18.
Ladbrokes argued that the advertisement underwent the company’s internal review process and had subsequently been removed from Facebook, all associated ad campaigns, and their ad catalogue. The betting operator also stressed that the ad targeted men and women over the age of 18 while existing and self-excluded customers were excluded from the post.
According to CasinoBeats, the betting company also explained that the post did not include any imagery or characters from The Goonies film and claimed that children in 2021 would not be familiar with the film, which released back in 1985.
After receiving the complaint, the ASA launched an investigation into the ad. The ASA acknowledged that Ladbrokes had taken steps to only target people aged over 18, and it concluded that the ad did not appear to those aged under 18 and had not breached the ASA’s code of conduct.
They said in their ruling: “We considered that because of that, it was not a recent or current film with which children were likely to be familiar. Nonetheless, we considered the content of the film was likely to have some appeal for them.
“However, given its popularity among adults, we did not consider that it was likely to appeal more to under-18s than over-18s. We noted that while the ad features The Goonies logo and typeface, it did not feature any characters or other imagery from the film.”
They added: “We considered that the nautical map and golden doubloons featured in the ad were not colourful, cartoonish, or otherwise presented in a way that was likely to resonate with children, and were more likely to have general or adult appeal.”
The news comes after the ASA revealed a “small increase” in children’s exposure to gambling advertisements in 2020, with people under the age of 16 seeing an average of 2.8 gambling advertisements per week.
Also this week, leading game developer Playtech announced a content agreement with AMC Networks.
Under the brand new agreement, Playtech will develop new titles based on AMC Networks’ franchises, including Marriage Boot Camp, Bridezillas, and The Walking Dead. Playtech has confirmed that it aims to release the new titles later this year and throughout 2022.
Shimon Akad, the Chief Operating Officer at Playtech, told iGamingBusiness: “We are honoured to have been chosen as AMC Networks’ exclusive partner to bring their flagship brands to the online gaming market.
“Playtech has a long and proud history of combining the very best brands with our industry-leading products; this new partnership demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering an entertainment-led experience to key strategic audiences across regulated markets.”
Clayton Neuman, the Vice President of Games at AMC Networks, added: “From undead hordes of flesh-eating walkers to an army of enraged brides, AMC Networks is home to some of the most explosive dramas on television.
“We are delighted to partner with Playtech to deliver that same action and excitement from our iconic brands for the first time in a world-class online gaming experience.”