The Bishop of St Albans has once again warned against the constantly rising number of gambling adverts ahead of his question in the House of Lords.
The Rt Rev. Alan Smith said that gambling advertising is “out of control” and called for the UK Government to pay more attention to the problem. In the light of the upcoming start of the parliamentary session after the summer recess, he reminded the authorities of the World Cup, and more precisely about the way British children got bombarded with gambling adverts over the largest football event of 2018.
The Bishop of St Albans claimed that parents disapproved of the fact that their children were literally forced to watch so many gambling commercials, as those adverts, and especially the ones promoting live odds, were dominating every single match aired throughout the World Cup.
What he called “relentless repetition” of these adverts became a feature of the World Cup for many local people at a time when there are about 430,000 gambling addicts in the country. The Bishop of St Albans further reminded that the gambling-related harm was expensive to deal with, as it cost the British taxpayers an amount from £260 million to £1.2 billion on an annual basis.
Furthermore, he also reminded that gambling addiction is bringing more financial pressure to the medical services provided to local people, with the National Health Service (NHS) possibly spending the massive amount of £610 million just on hospital inpatient services for gambling addicts.
Gambling Adverts Make Gambling Look Normal to Children
The Bishop of St Albans also noted that this summer, the UK gambling industry was strongly criticised by a group of researchers, according to whom it is the gambling addicts who are paying the price for the sector’s constant desire to boost profits.
According to experts, one of the most worrying trends is the one in which children are being increasingly targeted by gambling operators that have been allegedly using advertising to make gambling look normal to children. Last week, the BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates programme revealed that average children will be seeing more than three gambling commercials on a daily basis, and the ones who watch their favourite sports matches see even more.
What the Rt Rev. Alan Smith finds outrageous is the fact that the rates of gambling addiction among British children remain stable, in spite of the fact that the children gambling participation rates are falling. From a statistical point of view, this basically means that the children gamblers are facing more serious problems than years ago.
The Bishop of St Albans also criticised the gambling industry, which on the other hand, claims to be acting in a responsible manner. He, however, saying that what adverts are aimed at encouraging gambling, making it look like an innocent pastime. The constantly growing number of gambling adverts, however, prove this wrong, says Rt Rev. Alan Smith, as making gambling look normal, especially to children, could have a devastating impact on their entire perception of gambling.