UK : NUMBER OF TV BETTING ADS DURING EUROS FALLS BY ALMOST HALF COMPARED TO LAST WORLD CUP

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The number of TV betting adverts shown on ITV during the European Championships has reduced by almost half compared to the World Cup in 2018, new figures have revealed.

According to new data, a total of 85 such ads appeared on ITV and ITV4 during the Euro 2020 group stages.

That is 47 per cent less than the 161 betting adverts shown on the channels during the same stage of the last World Cup three years ago.

It works out at 3.7 ads per live match at this year’s tournament, compared to 6.9 in 2018.

The reduction is a direct result of the whistle-to-whistle ban introduced by Betting and Gaming Council members in 2019.

Under the ban, TV betting commercials cannot be shown from five minutes before a match kicks off until five minutes after it ends, before the 9pm watershed.

A report last year found that the ban had led to a 97 per cent reduction in the number of such ads seen by children at that time.

BGC members already pledge that 20 per cent of their TV and radio ads are safer gambling messages.

According to a report by Ernst and Young, BGC members support 119,000 jobs, generate £4.5bn in tax for the Treasury, and contribute £7.7bn in gross value added for the UK economy. They also provide £350m a year for horseracing through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy, £40m for clubs in the English football league and millions more for rugby league, snooker and darts.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “These figures are testament to the success of the whistle-to-whistle ban and the continued drive for higher standards introduced by the regulated industry since 2019.

“At the start of the tournament, we had the same siren voices from the usual suspects in the anti-gambling lobby making dire warnings about people being ‘bombarded’ with betting ads and calling for a ban. I’m pleased that calls from prohibitionist to ban TV betting ads are baseless and not backed up by the evidence, with the Government themselves also acknowledging that independent research ‘did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling’.

“Nevertheless, the significant reduction in the number of betting commercials during the Euros, when compared to the last World Cup, is further proof of the commitment by our members to raising standards – while also promoting safer gambling, unlike the unsafe, unregulated black market that employs no one, pays no tax and makes no contribution to the economy or many of our much loved sports.”