Survey Reveals Big Gambling Spending in “School Run” Radio Hours

The Guardian has conducted a survey with the help of market analysis firm Nielsen to determine the prevalence of gambling advertisements during “school run” hours on radio. According to the commissioned research, gambling companies were the heaviest advertisers during those hours.

The hours known as school run are referred to the time when children are getting to or back from school. With this in mind, the research has argued that minors and underage individuals continue to be exposed to various promotions for sports and casino gambling activities, including national lottery contests.

Gambling companies are the biggest spenders on commercial radio between the hours of 8 am to 9 am and from 3 pm to 4 pm, based on the report’s data. Nielsen established that 5% of all spending in those hours accounted for gambling or some 1,200 hours of gambling ads over the past 12 months.

The only ads to exceed gambling were government communications, such as COVID-19 messages or fuel shortage warnings. Nielsen has chosen not to disclose the exact amount of money spent, because of the sensitive nature of the data.

Who Is Pushing Ads in School Run Hours?

According to The Guardian and Nielsen research, many big brands in the United Kingdom are pushing their ads during those hours. One of those is Gala Casinо, although Entain has been in communication with the media outlet and has already taken active steps to limit schoolchildren’s exposure to gambling advertisement content that could be linked to its operations in any way.

Meanwhile, the national lottery continues to prevail during the examined time slots. With some 8.9 million schoolchildren in the UK, that means a great number of youngsters could be exposed to gambling content which is otherwise limited in social media and TV advertisements.

Citing experts on the matter, The Guardian argued that there must be active measures taken to limit young people’s exposure. Commercial gambling may fall under the “adult-only category,” but it continues to appear on channels of advertisement that are readily accessible to children.

Safer Gambling and Tighter Advertisement Practices

According to Heather Wardle from Glasgow University, UK Gambling Commission data indicates that 7% of all children exposed to gambling ads are prompted to act on them. Gambling regulation in the country is in a state of flux.

However, all stakeholders agree that active measures must be taken to limit harm. BGC, the Betting and Gaming Council, has reassured that its members are committed to responsible gambling with 20% of their TV and radio ads being safer gambling messages.

Nevertheless, to completely eliminate gambling harm, critics of the current system, such as Labor MP Carolyn Harris argue that regulators and legislators have to fully overhaul gambling advertisement laws so they protect vulnerable individuals.

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