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UK gambling poll shows more than 50% of people want total ad ban

UK to ban footballers in gambling ads

Results from a recent poll in the UK suggest that over half of the country’s residents are in support of a total ban on gambling advertising.

The survey was conducted for the Gambling with Lives charity and interviewed around 1,009 adults. The UK charity offers support to bereaved families that have been affected by gambling-related suicides.

Out of the respondents, 52% revealed that they would like to see a ban on all gambling-related advertisements, sponsorships, and promotions. Almost two-thirds of the respondents wanted new limits implemented on online stakes, while 68% thought individuals below 18 should not be subjected to gambling advertising.

60% viewed gambling as harmful to family life, and 64% were in support of affordability checks for people that sought to place wagers of over £100 monthly.

Gambling With Lives CEO Will Prochaska stated that the poll was proof of the public’s opinion towards gambling advertising despite “cynical attempts” by pro-gambling parties to skirt around the issue.

“This poll displays the strength of public sentiment on gambling advertising. The Premier League’s decision to remove ads from shirts but leave them all over stadiums and across broadcasts is a cynical attempt to avoid regulation,” Prochaska said.

“This data shows the public won’t be tricked into thinking it’s enough. If gambling reforms fail to significantly restrict gambling advertising, they’ll be woefully out of step with a public that expects action.”

The survey comes amid preparations for publishing the much-anticipated gambling white paper this week. The document is expected to introduce a total overhaul of the gambling industry with several far-reaching reforms for the first time since 2005.

In a statement, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport disclosed that it fully intended to “protect those most at risk of gambling-related harm, including young and vulnerable people”. A spokesperson for the department also stated that the gaming white paper was in its final stages and would be published shortly.

A blanket gambling advertising ban is likely not part of the reforms following the Premier League’s decision to end front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships. Earlier this month, the clubs announced that such endorsements would be phased out by the 2025/26 season.

Anti-gambling advertising campaigners have expressed hope that the white paper will impose a statutory levy on gambling companies to fund research and treatment for problem gamblers.

Clean Up Gambling director Matt Zarb-Cousin claimed that the gambling review would likely include a mandatory levy on gaming operators’ gross gaming yield. If it does, Zarb-Cousin estimated an annual payout of £150 million to facilitate research, treatment, and education on gambling.

Via a spokesperson, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) emphasized the commitment of its members to tackling gambling harm over the years. The BGC also asked that the gambling review not introduce measures that could push punters to unregulated markets.

“The BGC’s largest members have pledged an additional £110m of funding over four years for research, education, and treatment services to tackle gambling harm. The BGC has endorsed making contributions mandatory and would support a new scheme as long as funds are distributed effectively and independently,” the spokesperson said.

“We strongly support the gambling review, but any changes introduced by the Government must not drive gamblers towards the growing unsafe, unregulated black market online, where billions of pounds are being staked.”

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