RGA Talks Underway After TV Betting Advertising Scrutiny

Date IconLast Updated: 28 Sep 2022
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RGA Talks Underway After TV Betting Advertising Scrutiny

Figureheads at leading bookmakers in the UK have held a first meeting to discuss the possibility of reducing the number of betting adverts shown during live sporting events.

Earlier in November, Sky TV confirmed they plan to restrict the number of betting adverts shown on their channels to one per commercial break, as reported by Gambling.com.

The decision, which will not come into play until August 2019 to coincide with the beginning of the next Premier League season, was made of the broadcasting giant’s own back amid growing concerns over the number of gambling ads on British television.

Sky’s move received a positive response from the public and appears to have prompted a meeting between the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), who has admitted it is “very mindful of public concerns”.

The RGA, whose objectives include social responsibility within the betting and gaming industry, consists of representatives of top bookmakers such as Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

A statement from RGA said: “The process for deciding what enhancements and additions might be introduced in 2019 is currently underway. At this stage it would be wrong to speculate on the outcome of the review.

“But we are all very mindful of the public concerns that have been expressed about the amount of sports betting advertising that takes place on television.”

Government Could Intervene

Politicians will ultimately have greater control of the situation, though, and Labour are campaigning for a full ban on betting adverts during live sporting events after the Gambling Commission claimed Britain has some 430,000 problem gamblers.

RGA members discussed the notion of a complete ban on pre-watershed (9pm) advertising, while the prospect of banning in-play ads during live broadcasts was also mooted.

Following Sky’s lead by restricting the number of gaming adverts to one per commercial break seems plausible, although the RGA would not be drawn on their preferred outcome.

Sky, incidentally, are in the process of developing Adsmart technology whereby customers will have the option to block gambling ads from being shown altogether on their Sky TV box.

However, the technology may not be ready for roll out until June 2020.

Concern Over Underage Gambling Report

Meanwhile, the gambling industry came under further scrutiny this week following the Gambling Commission’s report which claims around 450,000 children aged 11-16 bet regularly.

It also suggests the number of children with a gambling problem has quadrupled to over 50,000 in the last two years, with cash bets among peers, slot machines and scratchcards cited as the most likely source of underage betting.

“In relation to the Young People and Gambling report, we note that the principal forms of gambling do not relate to online gambling,” said the RGA.

“The issue of children and gambling is a complex area and we would never suggest that improvements cannot be made.”

The Young People and Gambling Report was based on a study of 2,865 children between the ages of 11 and 16, of which 39% said they had used their own money to gamble at one stage or another over the previous 12 months.