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Sadiq Khan pledges to ban gambling advertisements on London Underground

| By Marese O'Hagan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to ban gambling advertisements on the London Underground in his bid to be re-elected on 6 May.

Khan’s manifesto promises that his current Underground ban on junk food advertising will be extended to include “harmful gambling advertisements”.

“I’ve already banned body-shaming advertisements and advertisements for foods high in fat, salt and sugar on the TfL network because of their impact on the health of Londoners,” it read.

“Given the devastating way gambling addiction can destroy lives and families, I’ll instruct TfL to bring forward plans to extend the ban to harmful gambling advertisements on the network.”

The move would fit into a broader trend of reductions on gambling advertising across the UK. In October 2020 the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice put forward a consultation proposing that gambling advertising should not have a “strong appeal” to under-18s and irresponsible gambling advertising, such as money back offers, should be reduced.

The so-called whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising was praised last year by the Betting and Gaming Council after its implementation cut the number of gambling advertisements seen by children by 97%.
Earlier political attempts have been made to pull focus to problem gambling and gambling ads in the UK. Before the 2019 General Election, Khan’s Labour party pledged to reduce gambling advertising in sport as part of its call for new gambling legislation, while the Conservative party announced that it would conduct a review of the 2005 Gambling Act if elected into government.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling-Related Harm, meanwhile, called for an end to all advertisements for gambling.

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