German politician urges countries to impose 9pm gambling ad watershed

German Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues Burkhard Blienert has issued a clarion call to governments worldwide, championing a 9pm watershed on gambling ads.

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Blienert, a member of Germany’s governing Social Democratic Party (SPD), warned that a rise in advertising from betting brands may lead to a commensurate rise in problem gambling.

He called on governments to take action now, suggesting countries should institute a 9pm watershed on gambling adverts, whether they be on television or the internet.

“Advertising for online gambling and sports betting is spreading at a breakneck speed. This trend is concerning because hundreds of thousands of people already have problem gambling or are even addicted,” Blienert said.

“I urge countries to stop advertising such offers. In plain language: no more sports betting advertising before 9pm, neither on TV nor the internet!”

His call to action came alongside a statement from Germany’s Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), published ahead of Gambling Addiction Day on 28 September.

The BZgA issued a broader warning, which sought to raise awareness of gambling addiction and possible triggers rather than calling for policy change like Blienert.

Dr Martin Dietrich, Acting Director of the BZgA, said: “There is a particularly high risk of addiction from gambling offers on the internet: they are available at all times and lure with high winnings.

“The supposed prospect of quick profits makes online sports betting particularly popular. That is why it is so important to raise awareness of the risks of gambling and to take countermeasures in good time.”

This comes amid a new gambling regime in Germany imposed by the aptly named Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which among other things, applies new rules on advertising.

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