Alliance Formed to Fight Against Gambling Adverts in the UK
An influential all-party coalition in the UK, consisting of leaders from the church and the political arena, has come forward demanding a ban on the telecasting of gambling advertisements an hour before and after live sporting events.
A leading donor and peer of the Tory Party, Lord Chadlington, has formed a partnership with members of the Church of England, the Labour Party, and the LibDems, to put an end to advertisements highlighting “live odds.” The advertisements are currently telecasted during prime-time television, thanks to a loophole in the regulations.
The alliance aims to close the loophole considering that many vulnerable individuals, especially children, are exposed to the advertisements.
Pushing for the Australian model
Lord Chadlington and the rest will be requesting the government to follow in the footsteps of Australia, where gambling advertisements are banned during live sporting events and also an hour before and after the event. According to him, this would be the first step to a complete ban up until the watershed in the evenings.
To highlight public support, the alliance has even gone on to commission a Populus poll of 2000 people. It has been predicted that around 58% of the public will support an absolute ban on gambling advertisements across all platforms and channels in the UK. Only a mere 14% are predicted to oppose this.
In a recent issue of the Parliament’s House Magazine, Chadlington wrote about the increase in gambling advertisements on TV, especially during the World Cup. Viewers were apparently bombarded with 90 minutes of gambling advertisements during this period. The Tory peer also pointed out to the 63% increase in gambling ad spending, which has brought the overall spending to £312 million in just five years.
People are being misled
Campaigners state that they are shocked by the live odds bets, which create the impression that players only have a short period of time to make the most of them and complex bets, which, according to academics, actually misrepresent the chances of winning.
Psychiatrists from the Royal College have stated that such advertisements can be very influential in stirring up a spur-of-the-moment desire to engage in betting, which, in turn, can lead to gambling addiction. Currently, an estimated 2 million gamblers are said to be at risk for addiction, while around 430,000 are already being treated.
Chadlington referred to the UK government’s ignorance of the issue as “scandalous.” Other members of the alliance, such as Rt Reverend Alan Smith, the Church of England’s gambling lead and the Bishop of St. Alban’s, have stated that more legislation needs to be explored since gambling and advertising firms have failed to practice restraint.