Gambling ad ban must go further to protect children, critics say

Children will still be bombarded with gambling ads during live TV sporting events even after a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ad ban is introduced.

Last month, betting firms announced that they would stop running advertisements from five minutes before until five minutes after pre-watershed live games. The ban is due to be implemented at the start of the 2019/20 football season.

But the Daily Mail revealed that out of 250 gambling commercials shown during matches between 21 December and 3 January, almost 130 would have fallen outside of the coming ban’s restrictions.


MPs have said they will launch a formal inquiry into gambling advertisements on television and online.

MP Carolyn Harris, Chairman of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for FOBTs, said the gambling industry “is absolutely relentless. If there is a loophole, the industry will find a way to exploit it to the detriment of others. They have no compassion – to them people are disposable.”

They have no compassion – to them people are disposable

MP, Carolyn Harris

Her deputy, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “The whole process has got to be looked into because young people are being bombarded with different adverts”.


Campaigners are greeting the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban with caution, saying it will have “a limited effect” because the majority of these major companies’ advertising expenditure is online.

It was noted that children would still see gambling advertisements on pitch-side hoardings and on the shirts of football players.

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