United Kingdom sports betting ad bans

  • MPs in the UK are proposing a total ban of gambling advertisements similar to a proposal that occurred in 2005 which was not successful.
  • The gambling industry brings in over £11 billion a year for the UK so the odds that a total ban on ads happen may be out of the question.

LONDON – Members of Parliament (MP) in the UK are considering a proposal that would ban advertisements for gambling businesses on all platforms.

This is not just a fly from the seat of your pants idea as the MPs have been researching the detrimental effects that gambling has had on the people of the UK for over a year and advertising this gaming only magnifies the issue.

Appealing to gamblers through marketing has been seen to cause more harm than good for the individual, not the companies themselves.

The UK Gambling Industry

Gambling in the United Kingdom is a legal and regulated market.

In fact, it’s one of the country’s biggest moneymakers, generating over £11 (~$12.3) billion annually.

The MPs in favor of the ban belong to the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) consisting of 50 members. Their study is very detailed in what harm gambling businesses do by way of marketing.

“They have algorithms where if you are spending significant sums, they can make you a VIP, or send you a bonus email, both of which are to their commercial advantage,” read their report. “So, there is no reason why this data cannot be used to prevent gambling harm.”

After finding out just how harmful things like this are to the UK gambler, the APPG has included a proposal to ban all advertisements for the entire market.

Other countries with legal sports betting such as Spain enforced a similar ban, allowing for ads to run only between the hours of 1 a.m.-5 a.m. and La Liga teams will not be displaying sportsbooks on their jerseys during games anymore as has already been seen.

The UK Proposal For Banning Gambling Ads

The proposal drawn up by the APPG is not shy about asking for a total ban on all marketing for gaming companies. This includes both computer and television ads.

It also asks for these businesses to cease using algorithms that allow them to find out who their targets are in terms of high rollers so they will no longer offer them promotions via email in order for them to engage in even more gambling.

Outside of those two rules, they would like to see more controls on gaming overall and allow a limit of a maximum of £2 (~$2.25) on gaming machines.

These are very stringent ideas to implement which is why they are currently only in the consideration phase. However, this same group is responsible for getting rid of credit cards for placing bets so they are very determined and persistent on issues such as these.

“[Gambling firms] have shown time and again that they will not effectively self-regulate. Urgent change is needed to stop this industry riding roughshod over people’s lives,” said Carolyn Harris, Labour MP.

What Can The UK Expect?

A total ban on advertisements for legal sports betting and gambling overall is a tall order.

At least in Spain, they allow for a four-hour time slot and have fewer rules on the topic. But with UK gambling bringing in billions each year, this will be an uphill battle for the MPs. It’s a lot more difficult than their previous credit card ban win.

The opposition is already being heard on the idea as driving away regulated business could be harmful to the gambler in a whole different kind of way.

The Betting and Gaming Council had a spokesperson chime in on the MPs proposal.

“It’s important that those who claim not to be anti-gambling or prohibitionist do not drive customers to offshore, black market, illegal operators that don’t have any safeguards, rather than in our current heavily regulated industry that supports over 100,000 jobs and pays over £3bn [~$3.36bn] in tax.”

News tags: | | | | | |