Gambling Adverts

6th December 2018

Anne Main MP has welcomed the news that gambling adverts will be banned during live sport. The agreement comes after the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and its members agreed to stop showing gambling adverts before the 9pm watershed. Previously, firms could show adverts during live sport at any time of day as well as after the watershed.

‘I am so pleased we are seeing this change of direction by the gambling industry itself’ said Mrs Main. ‘The sheer amount of gambling advertising on our TV screens is out of control. It normalises gambling and this has a major impact on our young people.’

The St Albans MP has been putting pressure on the government in the last year to impose a restriction on gambling companies advertising during live sport. Although the move was self-imposed, political pressure on this issue has increased significantly in recent months.

In March, Mrs Main wrote to the then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Matt Hancock, saying, ‘I want to express my concern at the need for further regulation to cover sports gambling advertising…the market has been allowed to grow and grow and I am very concerned at the sheer number of adverts that bombard viewers, especially young children that may be watching live football matches.’

Mrs Main continued her campaign by asking written questions to DCMS ministers in June. Anne asked the government to consider the ‘merits of establishing a 9pm watershed for all gambling advertising’, including during live sport.

Following the announcement, Anne said, ‘This is a move in the right direction. We know how much damage irresponsible gambling can do to a person’s livelihood and mental wellbeing, having endless adverts on TV does not help those recovering from gambling addiction and will encourage the next generation of problem gamblers.

‘Although this was self-imposed, I am certain legislation was on its way so it was wise of the industry to react to public mood and political pressure and impose this on themselves in a timely manner. Ultimately, this is a recognition by the industry that there is a problem to be solved.

‘The government know there is still more work to be done to help problem gamblers in our communities. This is a positive step and I hope it will help to reduce the number of young people taking up gambling in future.’

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