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NEWS 7 September 2018

Gambling Commission warns operators over football advertising

By Jake Patel

The Gambling Commission (GC) has teamed up with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to hammer home the rules and requirements for advertising and sports sponsorship.

The reminder covers five key areas: gambling adverts on football club websites, gambling logos on under 18’s football shirts, terms and conditions, advertising that appeals to under 18s and advertising and problem gambling.

In regards to gambling adverts on football club websites, the GC said: “Operators must make sure their adverts or sponsorship links do not appear on football website pages that are targeted at children. For example, the junior sections of the club’s website.”

The GC also highlighted another football-related issue in the rules regarding gambling logos appearing on under 18 year olds football shirts.

The GC states "operators should make sure that they do not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for use by children.”

The focus on football and protecting younger players from gambling could be interpreted as an indirect response to the NHS Chief Simon Stevens, who urged Premier League football clubs to do more to tackle gambling addiction earlier this week.

However, a source close to the Premier League told Gambling Insider it has not received previous communication from NHS England and wished to stress it is not partnered with any gambling company.

This is further reinforced by the GC’s comments on advertising and problem gambling, where it says firms must ensure that “advertising does not appeal to problem gamblers” and that they don’t use adverts which create a “sense of urgency.”

Earlier this week. independent charity Gamble Aware said the relationship between the gambling and sport industries had “reached a tipping point.”

The following day, the GC published its latest combined health survey, which found that 1.2% of gamblers were classed as problem gamblers, which the Commission described as “statistically stable and consistent” with previous reports.

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