Gambling adverts could face UK daytime TV ban

By Tom Lewis
A report in today’s Times newspaper claims that operators could be facing a ban on TV advertising before the 9pm watershed.

Bookmakers are currently able to advertise during the day, provided those adverts are for bingo, or during commercial breaks in live sporting events.

The Times claims that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has identified these adverts as “an area of concern”, and understands that the government review into fixed-odds betting terminals will be widened to include advertising.

An unidentified senior minister was quoted as saying “the gambling industry’s luck has run out”, while a Times source, alluded to as being from the DCMS, stated: “As it stands, betting sites can basically be advertising to children all weekend.”

Any attempted clampdown is likely to be met with concerted resistance from broadcasters, who could lose millions of pounds in revenue as the result of a ban.

The total spend of UK facing operators on TV adverts between 2012 and July 2016 stands at nearly £500m, according to a report compiled be media analysts Nielsen.

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling also announced in August 2015 that sign-up offers would no longer be advertised on TV before 9pm.

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