Nationwide research has found that the majority of the public in the UK supports a full ban on gambling advertising, while three-quarters of the public believe the authorities should impose take stricter measures in terms of the existing regime.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), an independent, multi-disciplinary charity, cited the survey in which more than 12,000 people participated, and urged the UK Government to use the ongoing review of the country’s gambling legislative and regulatory framework and reduce the number of gambling adverts aired on various media channels, including TV, radio and online platforms. The charity organisation’s CEO, Christina Marriott, said that gambling is addictive and should be subject to stricter regulation.
The research, which was carried out by YouGov, found that 77% of adult citizens of the UK believe the authorities should ban gambling advertising on TV and radio channels before the 9:00 PM watershed. Reportedly, a similar number of people are supporting a similar ban on gambling ads on online and social media channels.
The survey, which was held as part of a wider survey on public health by ASH, actually found that very few people oppose the idea of a total ban on all gambling adverts regardless of time or medium. Only 14% of the surveyed 12,247 people said they were against such a measure, with almost two-thirds of the adults surveyed being in support of stricter regulation.
Gambling Operators Face Criticism for Increased Advertising on TV and Social Media
For years, the gambling sector in the UK has been spending an increasing amount of money on online adverts than on TV, although adverts linked to sports broadcasts on television attracted more members of the public. Lately, many anti-gambling campaigners, charity organisations and members of the public have shared their concern about the close relationship existing between professional football and the gambling sector.
As The Guardian reported, a gambling advertising restriction would be placed in line with recent announcements of the UK Government that junk food commercials are set to be suspended from broadcast media and online before 9:00 PM.
As for the gambling industry, operators in the UK have agreed to impose a voluntary whistle-to-whistle suspension on their adverts during live sports, and for five minutes before and after a game or a race.
According to the CEO of RSPH, the country’s authorities need to take stricter measures to prevent gambling advertising from getting deeply involved in the social and cultural lives of Brits, especially considering the harm that gambling could inflict on individuals, their families, relationships, workplaces and even on entire communities. Ms Marriott called for tighter restrictions to be imposed on the sector, citing the restrictions to other products that are potentially harmful to people’s health, such as tobacco products.
Carolyn Harris, the chair of a cross-party political group examining gambling-related harm, shared that the public and members of the Parliament strongly supported the proposed ban on gambling ads.