In a letter to ITV and Channel 5, the APPG has asked the broadcasters to consider reducing the amount of gambling content aired to audiences.
APPG Asks Broadcasters to Limit Gambling Content
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm (APPG) is looking to limit the exposure to gambling advertisements people in the United Kingdom experience. The APPG wrote a letter to ITV and Channel 5, asking the broadcasters to suspend all gambling-related content during the daytime.
According to the APPG, gambling firms have been allowed a looser hand over the advertisement space during the daytime, making it easier to reach out to broader audiences across the UK. In their address, MPs argued that shows such as the Australian soap opera Neighbors on Channel 5 are sponsored by gaming companies. Neighbors are backed by Entain Plc’s GalaBingo.com brand.
Day hours broadcasts, the APPG urged, should not be utilized by gambling firms to advance their products to potentially vulnerable audiences. The statement argued that gambling firms are on the lookout to sponsor the type of televised content that “glorifies” gambling and specifically targets young people and women.
However, a separate assessment by ASA, the country’s media watchdog, assured that exposure of gambling ads to children is within tolerable levels. The APPG, though, knows what they are talking about, adding to the statement:
“We are very concerned that television companies are promoting gambling – we have ourselves seen first-hand the harm and devastation that gambling can cause to young people’s lives, families, and communities.”APPG
Review of Gambling Coming in the United Kingdom
According to the parliamentary group, broadcasters had a responsibility towards society to protect audiences and not encourage engagement with gambling content, particularly in the context of a global pandemic and lockdowns.
The media environment will play a part in the Gambling Review headed by John Whittingdale. Companies agreed to introduce a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban, which has been paying off, although one common objection has been that companies are massively migrating online to avoid dealing with less cost-efficient marketing media.
However, the Gambling Review will pay closer attention to advertising and consider adopting stricter measures. Chief among those are proposals to restrict the size of online bets, cut sponsorships between gambling firms and sports teams, and possibly seek to moderate advertisement further.