Gam­bling firms to end ad­verts dur­ing live games

Com­pa­nies pro­pose ‘whis­tle-to-whis­tle’ ban Min­is­ter backs re­sponse to pub­lic con­cerns

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Tom Mor­gan SPORTS NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Sky and BT were brac­ing them­selves to take a po­ten­tial hit on ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues yes­ter­day as the gam­bling in­dus­try pro­posed an agree­ment to stop pro­mot­ing bets dur­ing live sports broad­casts.

A “whis­tle-to-whis­tle” TV ad­ver­tis­ing ban is said to have been agreed in prin­ci­ple by the Re­mote Gam­bling As­so­ci­a­tion, which in­ralph cludes Bet365,

Paddy Power.

The Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day praised the in­dus­try for fi­nally “step­ping up” amid pub­lic con­cerns. Last night, shares in Wil­liam Hill and 888 fell al­most three per cent and five per cent re­spec­tively, while gam­ing group GVC’S share price closed down 5.6 per cent.

Carsten Thode, the chief strat­egy of­fi­cer of mar­ket­ing agency Syn­ergy, said broad­cast­ers would be wor­ried. “We have been through this be­fore, but this may well end up like the to­bacco ban in F1. Some­thing will even­tu­ally come along in its place, but we could see a short­term drop in rev­enue.”

When asked about the po­ten­tial ban, the RGA said “noth­ing has yet been fi­nalised”, but Jeremy Wright, Ladbrokes and sec­re­tary of state for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport, told The Daily Tele­graph: “Gam­bling firms ban­ning ad­ver­tis­ing on TV dur­ing live sport is a wel­come move and I am pleased that the sec­tor is step­ping up and re­spond­ing to pub­lic con­cerns. It is vi­tal chil­dren and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple are pro­tected from the threat of gam­bling-re­lated harm. Com­pa­nies must be so­cially re­spon­si­ble.”

The foot­ball gam­bling in­dus­try is worth £1.4bil­lion in Bri­tain. The Gam­bling Com­mis­sion said book­mak­ers made £333.4 mil­lion in prof­its from bets placed on the sport be­tween Oc­to­ber 2015 and Septem­ber 2016.

The new broad­cast­ing agree­ment is said to en­sure no ad­verts will be broad­cast for a de­fined pe­riod be­fore and after a game is broad­cast, and will in­clude any game that starts prior to 9pm.

Anti-gam­bling cam­paign­ers say sport’s use of ad­verts “nor­malises” bet­ting and the RGA has pre­vi­ously said it was “mind­ful of pub­lic con­cerns”.

It has been claimed that “whis­tle-to-whis­tle” ad­ver­tis­ing con­trib­utes to the rise in the amount of prob­lem gam­blers – with a Gam­bling Com­mis­sion re­port sug­gest­ing 430,000 Bri­tons can be de­scribed as such – and helps fuel un­der-age gam­bling.

Ac­cord­ing to the BBC, horse rac­ing will be ex­empt from the re­stric­tions be­cause of the com­mer­cial im­por­tance of gam­bling on its vi­a­bil­ity, but all other sports will be in­cluded. The gam­bling in­dus­try has been fac­ing pres­sure amid con­cerns around its pres­ence in sport. Nine of the 20 Premier League teams and 17 of 24 Cham­pi­onship teams have shirt spon­sor­ships with gam­bling com­pa­nies.

Marc Etches, of the Gam­bleaware cam­paign group, said: “While we wel­come this move, it is im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to anal­y­sis that shows the mar­ket­ing spend on­line is five times the amount spent on tele­vi­sion. The fact that it is re­ported one in eight 11-to-16 year olds are fol­low­ing gam­bling com­pa­nies on so­cial me­dia is con­cern­ing.”

In Oc­to­ber, gam­bling ex­ec­u­tives re­acted an­grily to Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pro­pos­als to de­mand po­ten­tially tens of mil­lions of pounds from the bet­ting in­dus­try to sup­port the grass-roots game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.