ITV urged to ban gambling ads during Euros

ITV has been urged to ban gambling advertisements during its coverage of Euro 2020.

Vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm Ronnie Cowan MP said change is needed so that gambling is not promoted in the game.

The broadcaster was criticised in 2018 after it was revealed it had run 172 gambling related adverts during that year’s World Cup – over eight and a half hours of screen time in total.

‘Devastating effect’

Cowan said: “It will be impossible to watch without exposure to gambling ads. This type of advertising can have a devastating effect on young people and the vulnerable.”

In April, campaign group The Big Step, which is part of the charity Gambling With Lives, wrote to ITV urging it not to promote gambling during the tournament.

Founder James Grimes said “the Euros should not be a platform to promote addictive and harmful gambling products”.

ITV responded by promising that the number of adverts would be “significantly reduced” compared to 2018.


Earlier this year, the Church of England and a number of Christian groups, including Ambassadors Football, joined forces to launch – a new campaign to end gambling advertising in sport.

Westminster is currently conducting a major review of gambling law, which could see the most significant changes to the advertising and running of the industry since the introduction of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Northern Ireland

Significant changes to gambling law in Northern Ireland are also currently being considered – the first in 35 years.

The changes include allowing bookmakers to open on Sundays and Good Friday, as well as a ban on permitting children to play gaming machines.

The legislation will be put forward in the Assembly in the next few weeks.

Also see:

Online gambling

Christian groups campaign to kick gambling advertising out of sports

England legend Peter Shilton calls for end of gambling promotion in game

Govt launches wide-ranging review of gambling law

Gambling adverts need tackling following World Cup deluge

Peers back ban on gambling sponsors on football shirts

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