Last week, the main bookmakers in the UK market agreed the so-called ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban and the ban has now been ratified by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG).
The move to adopt a voluntary ban is partially in reaction to increasing political pressure brought about by widespread public concern about the prevalence of television betting advertisements, and the extent to which betting companies are involved with sports teams, particularly in football.
Under the terms of the ban, there will be no betting adverts shown during live sports broadcasts before 21:00 in the UK. The ban will include events that begin before 21:00 but end later than that time, and will be in effect five minutes prior to and following the event. Horse racing and greyhound racing have been excluded from the ban, in recognition of the fact that both sports are dependent on betting income and sponsorship for their continued viability.
Speaking about the ban, the chair of the IGRG, John Hagan, said that it represented an important step and a response to widespread public concern:
“We believe that this is itself a watershed moment as we strive to provide the ever safer gambling environment which gambling consumers and the wider public expect, and which is so important to the future success and sustainability of our industry”.
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