The Big Step asks ITV to ban gambling ads during entire Euros broadcast

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Football-focused Gambling With Lives campaign group The Big Step has written an open letter to broadcaster ITV ahead of tomorrow’s (7 July) England vs. Denmark Euro 2020 game, to request that it does not show any gambling advertising during its entire coverage of the match.
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The Big Step, which has called to remove gambling ads from football in the UK, said it’s estimated that over 20m people will watch the fixture, including millions of children.

While advertisements may not be shown during live sport itself if aired before the 9 pm watershed under the “whistle-to-whistle ban”, ads are permitted to appear during coverage before a match starts, as well as after the watershed.

The Big Step said that it had been disappointed to see gambling advertising during ITV’s coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship since it began last month, and that the promotion of gambling “will undoubtedly have caused gambling-related harms”.

“As a charity supporting bereaved families, we know all too well the devastating damage that gambling can cause every day. We can only hope that ITV changes its position on this to prevent further suffering for many families up and down the country,” it said.

It pointed out that it was looking forward to seeing the England squad take on Denmark on Wednesday, but that it is no exaggeration to state that millions of children will be tuning in to watch the game.

It therefore requested that ITV suspend gambling advertising for the duration of the broadcast, and not just within the whistle-to-whistle timeframe.

“There is no excuse to show a single gambling advert in front of the whole country, especially when there will be such a young and susceptible audience viewing,” The Big Step concluded.

The Big Step aims to see an end to all gambling promotion, especially in football. It has already garnered the support of several professional teams, including League Two’s Forest Green Rovers, who joined the campaign’s call for an end to gambling advertising in football in May.

At the time, Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince OBE said of gambling advertising: “For me, the fun already stopped.  This is an abuse of football and of football fans.”

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