Whistle-to-whistle UK gambling ad ban confirmed

By Matthew Enderby

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) will implement a whistle-to-whistle ban on all TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sport.

Members will not show adverts from five minutes before the event begins until five minutes after it finishes.

Further measures include stopping betting ads around highlight shows and re-runs, and preventing bookmakers from sponsoring sports programs pre-watershed.

The changes to the IGRG’s Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising are expected to be introduced in the summer of 2019, but will exclude horse and greyhound racing programs.

John Hagan, Chair of IGRG, said: "Today, the gambling industry is responding positively to public concerns about the amount of gambling advertising on television before the watershed.

“We believe that this is itself a watershed moment as we strive to provide the ever safer gambling environment which gambling consumers and the wider public expect, and which is so important to the future success and sustainability of our industry.”

The new measures are additional to the restriction Sky plans to introduce next season, which includes limiting betting adverts during live sport to one advert per break.

Jeremy Wright MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “Gambling firms banning advertising on TV during live sport is a welcome move and I am pleased that the sector is stepping up and responding to public concerns.

“It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling-related harm. Companies must be socially responsible.”

The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising was introduced in 2007 and is overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Click here to read the Gambling Insider editorial team's debate on whether a complete ban during live sport is necessary. 

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