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05th Apr 2022

UK to ban gambling ads showing sports and reality TV stars

Callum Boyle

The ban will come into effect from October

The UK will ban gambling advertisements which feature sports and reality TV stars from October under new guidelines to help protect younger audiences.

Following confirmation of the new regulations, it means that any ads which have featured sports stars such as Jamie Redknapp, Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho in the past will now no longer be allowed to be broadcast in the UK.

The rules will help to protect younger audiences

gambling sports TV

As part of the new rules, teams which feature gambling sponsors on their shirts and in their stadiums will also be prohibited from featuring on the adverts, as well as using video gameplay content.

The rules have come into place to help protect under-18s and vulnerable groups and Shahriar Coupal, the the director of the Committee of Advertising Practice, which sets the rules enforced by the UK’s advertising watchdog, explained why the decision had been taken.

“No more top-flight footballers or other high-profile sportspeople promoting the latest odds,” she told the Guardian.

“No more social media influencers, TV stars or other celebrities popular with children inviting us to bet on red. And, no more gambling ads featuring video game images or gameplay familiar to many children’s lives.”

Current rules state that an advert must be banned if it appeals to an under-18 more so than an adult, however the new rule states that an advert will be banned if it is “likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture,” regardless of how an adult perceives it.

The new laws will apply to both broadcast and non-broadcast media

gambling sports TV

The rules will come into effect shortly before the start of the World Cup in November – a time when gambling companies traditionally rely heavily on marketing to draw in their customers, and Coupal said that the change in rules will have a major effect.

“This might not seem immediately significant but its effect – particularly in a World Cup year – will be dramatic,” she said.

“By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

The rule will apply to all forms of broadcast media such as TV, film and radio as well as non-broadcast forms such as newspapers and posters.

The Advertising Standards Authority recently revealed that children were still seeing an average of 2.2 betting adverts a week, however this is the lowest figure recorded for 12 years.

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