Report finds gambling advertising does not need tighter restrictions

By David Cook
Gambling advertising has had a “relatively small” impact on gambling-related harm, a report has found.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have conducted a 52-page gambling review into the effect that advertising has had on gamblers and has found that problem gambling and underage participation has been in decline since 2007.

An executive summary of the report said: “The two key indicators of gambling-related harm – problem gambling and underage participation – are at low levels and trends suggest they have been in decline since 2007.”

“The academic literature points to gambling advertising having a potential impact but, in relation to problem gambling, the impact is found to be relatively small. CAP and BCAP are confident that the evidence does not present a case for tighter restrictions, such as broader prohibitions on advertising in certain media.”

Media regulator Ofcom conducted a study in 2013 which showed there had been a 600% increase in gambling-related advertisements since the market was deregulated in 2007, in light of the Gambling Act of 2005.

CAP and BCAP’s research shows that money spent on advertising by gambling companies increased from £150m in 2010 to £235m in 2013 – £141m of which was spent on television advertising.

The report also found that males between the age of 16 and 24 are the most at risk of problem gambling.


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