Could advertising on television especially around sporting events be curbed by the UK government? With the recent announcement from the UK Gambling Commission that as many as 2 million people were either problem gamblers or a risk of addiction and then the front page newspaper coverage of the dangers of gambling it could spell the end of current advertising during live sporting events that manage to air before the 9pm watershed time that normally gambling adverts are not allowed.
A storm is gathering. “We would be mad not to take notice of that growing background noise of concern,” says Clive Hawkswood, the chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association.
Soon there will be a review of sports betting advertising by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and many feel some new restrictions could come into force to please those campaigners that want a total ban on all gambling advertising.
There is already a president for banning all gambling adverts during sporting events, in Australia the Prime Minister said the government would move to ban all gambling advertising on television before 9pm.
Those opposed to gambling advertising say that it has got out of hand, too many adverts now during the breaks are gambling focused and with the gambling industry spending £1.4 billion on advertising since 2012 it is hard to disagree. Also opponents point to football clubs now having gambling firms as their shirt sponsors, in total 9 of the premier league teams have gambling companies as their lead shirt sponsor.
The popularity of sports in the UK and predominately football is a huge draw for a gambling company to have their brand recognised by the mass market, but is it time that gambling firms hold back a little before the government take measures against sports advertising?