Betting firms and TV channels oppose likely plan to ban daytime adverts

Figures show gambling firms spent £162m on advertising so far this year

Betting firms and broadcasters have lashed out against the prospect of a ban on betting adverts on daytime TV, amid reports the government is planning a crackdown to protect children and problem gamblers.

The two industries voiced their criticism as figures revealed that gambling firms’ spend on TV advertising has more than doubled since 2012, reaching £162m already this year.

The government is understood to be planning to include gambling adverts in an imminent review of the industry that will also investigate the spread of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) – dubbed the “crack cocaine” of gambling by campaigners.

The threat that the flow of advertising cash could be staunched hit shares in ITV, Ladbrokes and William Hill on Friday.

But the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), whose members include Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair, said there was no need for a new investigation.

The trade body said a review by the Department of Culture Media and Sport last year concluded there was no evidence for a ban on daytime TV ads.

“All the evidence was considered and it was deemed there wasn’t significant evidence to make a change of that kind,” said RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood.

“We would never say things can’t be improved but what’s the justification? Some people have a gut reaction and that’s slightly hard to deal with.”

The Advertising Association, whose members include broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, also denied there was any reason to ban daytime gambling ads.

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