Footballers and reality stars to be banned from promoting gambling

Top footballers and reality TV stars will soon be banned from promoting betting, following new rules laid down by the advertising watchdog.

Currently, gambling adverts are not permitted if they are likely to appeal more to children than to adults, but in a tightening of the rules, the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) now says an advert must not appeal to children at all, regardless of how an adult would perceive it.

This means high profile figures likely to be seen as role models by children, including famous sportspeople and reality TV contestants, cannot be used by gambling firms to promote their services.

World Cup 2022

The rules state: “Marketers must consider carefully their casting of persons or characters to ensure they are unlikely to have strong appeal to under-18s”.

It explains that high-risk individuals would be those who have direct connections to under-18s, such as children’s TV presenters or film stars, those with a significant following of under-18s on social media, footballers and managers associated with top teams in the UK or abroad, and other leading sporting figures of a national profile.

Adverts containing footage from video games or which mimic gameplay will also be prohibited.

The rule change comes into effect in October, one month before the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar. In recent years, star footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr have starred in adverts for PokerStars, while charismatic manager José Mourinho was recently the face of a Paddy Power campaign.

‘Dramatic effects’

CAP Director Shahriar Coupal said: “No more top-flight footballers or other high-profile sportspeople promoting the latest odds. No more social media influencers, TV stars or other celebrities popular with children inviting us to bet on red. And, no more gambling ads featuring video game images or gameplay familiar to many children’s lives.”

He continued: “This might not seem immediately significant but its effect – particularly in a World Cup year – will be dramatic. By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

Also see:

Academics urge Govt to restrict gambling ads to protect young people

Students are gambling away over £1,600 a year

Women looking to escape trauma getting hooked on gambling

ROI committee calls for ban on online gambling ads targeting kids

Related Resources