UK Public Support Blanket Ban on Gambling Advertising April 26, 2023 Mike Ashley

UK Public Support Blanket Ban on Gambling Advertising

Gambling AdvertisingSummary:

  • Over half of Britain is in favor of a blanket ban on gambling ads
  • However, lawmakers are unlikely to approve the measure
  • The government could instead introduce a mandatory RET levy

A new survey shows more than half of UK residents support a blanket ban on gambling advertising, but the measure is unlikely to be included in the Gambling Act Review White Paper which could be released by the end of April.

52% Support Blanket Ban but Unlikely to be Included in White Paper

According to the poll commissioned by Gambling with Lives, a charity supporting families bereaved by gambling-related suicide, 52% of Brits back an outright ban on gambling ads as well as sports sponsorship, with 68% saying minors must not be exposed to gambling advertising.

The majority of those surveyed also came out in favor of implementing stringent measures to curb problem gambling, with 64% supporting affordability checks for customers who want to bet more than £100 a month. Of the 1,009 survey respondents, 60% considered gambling as a danger to family life.

Will Prochaska, Strategy Director at Gambling with Lives, said the survey reflects the strength of public sentiment regarding gambling advertising. He is calling on the government to consider the results of the survey and take appropriate action to tackle gambling advertising, but lawmakers are not expected to approve the measure.

A blanket approach would potentially result in funding difficulties for the sports industry, especially for football clubs that rely on sponsorship deals with sports betting sites. Sports sponsorship has been a major topic of debate in the ongoing Gambling Review, prompting the Premier League to agree to ban match-day front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling operators by the end of the 2025/26 season.

Prochaska described as a “cynical attempt to avoid regulation” Premier League’s recent decision, saying the move is not enough to address the issue at hand.

Government Likely to Introduce Mandatory LET Levy

A blanket ban on gambling advertising will not likely be part of the upcoming gambling reforms, but other measures, including a mandatory levy for problem gambling research, education, and treatment (RET) funding could be on their way. Proponents of the statutory levy say it would guarantee around £150 million in RET funding each year.

It is one of the measures being pushed by the Gambling-Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which argues that the gambling industry needs to be reshaped so that operators have “more accountability and less-obscene profits”.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said it would support the mandatory levy provided that the funds are distributed effectively and independently.

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