UK betting companies have confirmed that they will be looking at the frequency of sports betting adverts on UK television as a response to public concern over the issue.
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which counts a number of well-known bookmakers among its members, has said that it will be discussing options to ensure the limiting of the volume of sports betting advertising on television, particularly during football and live sports games.
Among the possible solutions under discussion are a total ban on pre-watershed gambling advertisements, a restriction to one advert per commercial break, and a prohibition on ‘in-play’ adverts that promote such betting services during live sports broadcasts.
The RGA’s announcement that it will be reviewing gambling advertising comes after a series of reports that suggest a growing number of people are affected by problem gambling in the UK. One recent study showed that there could be 50,000 children with gambling problems in the UK, and the UK Gambling Commission has estimated that there are 430,000 gambling addicts in the country.
Speaking about the ongoing discussions, the RGA said that it was too early to speculate on the detail of any concrete policies, but that the group understood how important the issue was:
“But we are all very mindful of the public concerns that have been expressed about the amount of sports betting advertising that takes place on television.”
The RGA discussions follow another significant initiative on problem gambling, this time under the umbrella of the GAMSTOP scheme. This program, backed by a range of top betting and casino companies, offers self-exclusion for those who want to limit their gambling, and according to the Gambling Commission, is set to become compulsory during the next few months.
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