Coronavirus: UK gambling operators to voluntarily ban TV and radio advertising

By Tim Poole

Members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK will no longer advertise on TV or radio during the COVID-19 lockdown – but not due to Government regulation.

Indeed, in another proactive step by the BGC to protect players and ease the threat of heavy gambling regulation, its members will no longer advertise on TV or radio during the coronavirus pandemic.

Existing slots will be replaced by safer gambling messages, donated to charities or removed.

The changes will be implemented no later than Thursday 7 May and will remain in force for six weeks as a minimum, until 5 June.

Markets such as Spain and Sweden have implemented strong bonus and advertising policies during the COVID-19 pandemic but the BGC's actions ensure regulatory intervention will not be needed within the UK market.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “From day one of this crisis we have sought to protect customers potentially at risk, including announcing stepping up safer gambling measures as part of our ten pledges for COVID-19 in March.

“This latest move by the regulated industry further underlines our commitment to safer betting and gaming with many people cut off and feeling anxious.

“This major announcement by our members will result in the removal of half of all product advertising on TV and radio. I hope now that other major gambling operators like the National Lottery follow our lead.”


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