BGC Hails the Impact of the Whistle-To-Whistle Ban

The gambling industry representative body in the UK, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), issued a report regarding the effects from the introduction of a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising, concluding that the TV betting ban during live sport has dramatically reduced children’s ability to watch them.

The Ban Reduced Gambling Ads Exposure for Children

The measure introduced one year ago, August 1, 2019, by members of the BGC turned out to be highly successful, as a study by Enders Analysis found out the number of betting ads seen by children aged between 4 and 17 years, fell by 97%.

The self-imposed industry ban states that TV betting adverts must not be shown from 5 minutes prior to a live sporting event to 5 minutes after it has ended, if the sporting event takes place before the 9pm watershed. With the introduction of the whistle-to-whistle ban, overall amount of gambling ads viewed by youngsters has fallen by 70% over the full duration of live sport programmes, the study concluded

According to the comprehensive analysis, the first 5 months after the measure became effective produced 1.7 billion fewer views of gambling ads, and there were 109 million fewer views over 4 comparative weekends.

Gambling Advertising Exposure Fell Pre- and Post-Watershed

Total gambling advertising exposure before the 9pm watershed fell by 78% and the advertisements not shown in the period did not switch to other evening programmes as the post-watershed analysis showed also a decline in gambling ads exposure, 28%.

Besides the whistle-to-whistle ban, the BGC that is currently working on a new code of conduct for sponsorship, introduced a number of other industry measures aimed at improving standards of business. These include the requirement for at least 20% of TV and radio gambling ads being safer messages, cooling off periods on gaming machines, AML improvement measures such as new ID and age verification checks, encouraging the implementation of deposit limits, as well as boosting funds directed at research, education and treatment of gambling harm.

“The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment and I’m very pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation. In particular, it’s encouraging to see that it has effectively eliminated children’s ability to view betting adverts during live televised sport. I am determined that the BGC will lead a race to the top in terms of industry standards and we want to drive more changes in the future.”

Michael Dugher, CEO, Betting and Gaming Council

Pointing out that the pending review of the 2005 Gambling Act will provide further opportunities for standard improvements and the industry body is looking forward to working with the Government on that, Mr Dugher also reiterated the association’s position, urging authorities to address the issue of black market operations.

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