Betting ads feature in 95% of TV football matches – report
Gambling and betting advertisements feature in 95% of televised football games in the UK, according to a new report by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.
The study looked at 25 matches from the ongoing 2017-18 season shown by pay-television broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as commercial channel ITV.
A total of 1,324 commercials were recorded across the games, with 272 of these related to gambling, coming out at an average of around one in five ads.
However, for some games, this statistic was as high as one in three, and during the Europa League match between English Premier League team Everton and Apollon Limassol of Cyprus, 40% of the adverts and sponsorship indents were related to gambling.
The study comes as the government considers new restrictions on betting ads and an official report on the matter could be published as early as next week,
So far, the gambling industry has stood strong regarding advertising, saying that ads have “limited impact” on betting rates.
However, speaking on behalf of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, Matt Zarb-Cousin told the BBC that the government must take action to lower the current level of gambling ads shown on television.
“We are concerned about the effects of children and young people being exposed to gambling advertising due to the pre-watershed exemption for live sporting events,” Matt Zarb-Cousin said.
“The government has an opportunity to address this in the forthcoming review.”
The UK Gambling Commission recently joined with the Advertising Standards Authority, the Committee of Advertising Practice, and the Remote Gambling Association in calling on betting operators to remove any advertising that may appeal to under-18s.
A joint letter penned by the organisations refers to adverts on an operator’s website or in third-party media that are “likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger (‘under 18’)” and are “generally available to view (‘freely accessible’)”.
The Local Government Association (LGA), formed of local councils in the UK, has also called for “greater restrictions” on betting-related advertising to minimise the risk of young people developing gambling problems.
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