Adverts for the gambling industry look set to vanish not only from our daytime TV screens but also social media due to fears that they are influencing the young, resulting in gambling problems. Under current rules, adverts are allowed to be shown before the 9pm watershed, but recent figures from the Gambling Commission have shown the number of 18 to 24-year old’s with gambling problems has trebled over the past three years.
Figures from The Advertising Standards Authority show that last month they received a total of 3,395 complaints about 2,301 different adverts. Of these complaints, only 224 (7%) were about betting / gambling adverts. In total 3% of the adverts complained about were betting / gambling related.
Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals
Sources say that an official review that is running on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is set to be expanded to include gambling adverts too. Furthermore, the use of social media to promote gambling will also be included, and a senior minister speaking to the Times Newspaper is quoted as saying “The gambling industry’s luck has run out,”.
It is reported that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are concerned by some adverts, such as those featuring celebrities actively encouraging viewers to gamble via their phones during live football matches. “As it stands, betting sites can basically be advertising to children all weekend,” a source said.
The betting industry and broadcasters alike are set to oppose such changes, but DCMS ministers say that the government is prepared to take action if needed to protect the young and vulnerable from gambling related harm. They say “We are keeping the issue of advertising under review to ensure that sufficient protections are in place, and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary.”