House of Lords calls for shirt advertising ban among a number of sweeping changes

By Iqbal Johal

A UK government report has called for a gambling advertising ban on the kits of sports teams and stadiums, stating that “more needs to be done to prevent gambling-related harm.”

The House of Lords Gambling Industry Select Committee report, Time for Action, outlines a number of recommendations that it expects the government and Gambling Commission to implement, to make gambling safer.

The report said the government needs to commission independent research to establish links between gambling advertising and gambling-related harm, for both adults and children.

But gambling operators should no longer advertise on the shirts, or any part of the kit, of sports teams, or near any sports venues, although the ban wouldn’t take effect for clubs below the Premier League before 2023.

For online, the report states the Gambling Commission should establish a system for testing new games against harm indicators, and a category system for online products needs to be created.

Stake limits for online play have also been recommended, so too has the banning of betting-to-view inducements, on operator websites.

An annual levy on operators to fund research, education and problem gambling treatment has also been called for, and the creation of a statutory independent gambling ombudsman service, to settle customer and operator disputes.

Also part of its 66 recommendations, the report says the government should conduct a triennial review of Gambling Commission’s work, and affiliates should be licensed by the Commission.  A review to liberalise the 2005 Gambling Act is also needed.

Chair of the Committee, Lord Grade of Yarmouth said: “The behaviour of some gambling operators, where vulnerable people were targeted with inducements to continue gambling when the operators knew they could not afford to, shocked the Committee.

“Urgent action by the Government is required. Lax regulation of the gambling industry must be replaced by a more robust and focussed regime which prioritises the welfare of gamblers ahead of industry profits.”


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