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UK bookmakers agree on advertising ban during live sports

Gambling ads to face restrictions

Gambling ads to face restrictions
In a proactive move from the UK gambling industry, online bookmakers have agreed to put a ban on advertising during live sports.

The move, which echoes recent legislation implemented in Australia, has been made in response to concerns over the effect that gambling advertising can have on children.

Gambling giants including Bet365, WilliamHill and Ladbrokes have all agreed in principal to a proposal that will see no bookmaker advertisements on television from the first whistle to the last — no matter when a game starts or finishes.

The upper brass of the country’s biggest bookmakers will meet next week to discuss the framework and a ban could be implemented throughout the UK by the summer of 2019.

The move had already been mooted as a future policy of Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour party and would not include horse racing.

Tom Watson, a Labour Minister, said the industry’s move is a welcome one.

“I’m delighted that gambling operators have adopted Labour’s proposal of a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising during live sport,” Watson said.

“With over 430,000 problem gamblers in the country, many of them children, the number of adverts during live sports had clearly reached crisis levels.

“There was clear public support for these restrictions and I’m glad that for once the industry, led by [the RGA], has taken its responsibilities seriously and listened.”

While the move was welcome by advocacy groups, share holders of the gambling companies were less enthusiastic. Share prices of Paddy Power, William Hill and Bet365 all experience slight drops, while TV broadcasters will also lose a significant slice of their advertising revenue.

The news mimics the developments taking place in Australia, where the major television stations are still debating what kind of revenue they can extract from the online gambling industry.

Latest UK gambling news & sporting tips

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