The UK’s leading gambling companies are to stop advertising their products on both television and radio for the remainder of the nationwide lockdown following pressure from MPs.
There were fears early on within the government that the effects of the pandemic would result in an increase in online gambling from those who were stuck indoors, with some believing that these measures should’ve been in place from day one of lockdown.
All gambling advertising will cease from May 7 for a minimum of six weeks and will then be reviewed at the end of that timeframe.
Though there will be no television or radio advertising available to some of the UK’s leading names within the gambling industry, the companies will still be able to advertise through other channels. These include social media advertising and contacting their registered customers directly via text and email.
On the decision, MP Carolyn Harris said: “This is a clear admission that gambling advertising is having a profound effect on the level of problem gambling we are seeing across the UK.
“I welcome today’s decision but I wish it could have been made on day one of the lockdown, rather than six weeks down the line. The damage already done is hard to comprehend. It’s vital that this is extended to all gambling advertising on all mediums throughout this pandemic.”
The Betting and Gaming Council is responsible for 50% of all ads that go on TV and radio and are now calling on fellow industry members such as the National Lottery and bingo sites to follow their lead.
THE BGC have also confirmed that their confirmed TV and radio slots will now be replaced with either responsible gambling messages or be pulled entirely.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “Throughout this crisis, as the new standards body, the BGC has worked very closely with the government.
“Ministers and the regulator all deserve credit for their steadfast and consistent determination to have an evidence-led approach and to rightly call for higher standards.
“There will always be alarmist noises from anti-gambling prohibitionists who just want to grab headlines, but it is this serious, constructive and evidence-led approach by the BGC’s regulated members that has resulted in this further major change.
“We are determined to do everything we can to protect customers potentially at risk during this lockdown period and beyond – and we are determined to drive the high standards that the public expect from us. I hope others follow our lead.”
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