RGA Says No Voluntary Whistle-to-Whistle Ad Bans Agreed Upon

The BBC got it wrong says Remote Gambling Association (RGA) CEO Clive Hawkswood who refuted the news agency’s report that a deal between gaming companies and the RGA has been struck to voluntarily limit gambling-related ads.

No Voluntary Gambling Ad Ban Deal Struck Yet

Recently, the BBC reported that a deal has been struck between the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and a number of companies in the iGaming sector, including bet365, Ladbrokes, and William Hill.

According to the original report posted earlier, the BBC claimed that a new “whistle-to-whistle” television sport advertising ban has been negotiated. The measure, the BBC’s article explained, would mean the end of gambling ads during live sports broadcast, which, would narrow down the exposure of underage individuals to such content.

The article then went on to explain the increasing gambling content that is pervading all viewership hours and reaching adolescent audiences. Meanwhile, iGaming Business, a respected media, spoke to RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood who refuted the claim, explaining that “the BBC have got it wrong”.

Mr. Hawkswood then ruled out the idea that agreement or proposal of any sort had yet taken place. However, the BBC weren’t wrong to report on the tip, since the RGA and operators have been trying to work out a new framework that would limit advertisement without hurting revenue since November 20.

The RGA did tell the media that while the organization had been looking into several possible scenarios, nothing was final. Any development in relation to the limitation of gambling ads would most likely be negotiated and enacted in 2019, RGA concluded.

A Boo-Boo That Costs Share Price

Following the BBC’s reporting, on December 6, William Hill and GVC’s shares woke up slightly weaker, registering a 4% drop. The RGA did discuss a total ban on pre-watershed advertising, though, along with specific types of adverts, including those prompting viewers to participate in any sort of live betting activities.

The climate for gambling advertisement in the United Kingdom has not been exactly mild. Misleading ads have been targeted with the full severity of regulators and laws, although quite a few gamers have also been reporting misleading information.

Operators are all seeking to come up with a way of promoting their products without stepping on any legal toes, particularly when the remote gambling taxes are raising and the Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Broadcaster Sky will also be limiting the slots allocated to gambling advertisement during a commercial break down to one, starting with the 2019/2020 English Premier League (EPL) season.

It’s in this context that companies have been trying to adapt to the toughening stance of regulators. The FOBTs polemic did prompt a minister to resign in defiance of a delay that would have allowed FOBTs to remain operational until October, 2019, leading to more gambling-related harm.

A similar polemic is far from reaching a boiling point insofar as advertisement goes, but a number of companies, including Coral, bwin, Ladbrokes, and GVC have already spoke in favor of a measure whereby no gambling commercials are shown before the 9 PM watershed.

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