The Betting & Gaming Council and the United Kingdom’s leading gambling companies have negotiated temporary measures to help protect vulnerable gamblers by limiting the number of advertising shown on TV and radio.
TV and Radio Advertisement for Gambling Limited Through June 5
Gambling operators in the United Kingdom have agreed to a new measure to help protect vulnerable players by vowing to suspend all TV and radio advertising while the COVID-19 lockdown lasts. On Monday, the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) that it had met and negotiated new player protection policies with the leading British gambling companies.
BGC specifically got in touch with market giants as Bet365, William Hill, The Stars’ Group Sky Bet, Flutter Entertainment and GVC Holdings, all of which agreed to suspend TV and radio advertisement urging people to turn to gaming during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The companies will hurry up to implement the measure, but they will need technical time to comply with the agreement. According to operators, the full implementation of the measure cannot happen earlier than May 7, as they would need to talk to broadcasting companies and go through due process.
The suspension of TV and radio advertisement will last through June 5 initially, although operators agreed to extend the measure should COVID-19 continues to keep people on lockdown.
More importantly, the companies won’t give up on the advertisement spots entirely. Instead, they will replace them with safe gambling messages, or simply use the money they receive back from cancelling their commercials and allocate them to charities seeking to minimize the damage of COVID-19 and problem gambling.
Previously, online software developer of casino solutions Gamesys announced that it would carry out a plan that will see the company limit its own advertisement. With these measures welcomed by many, BGC CEO Michael Daugher reminded that the industry shouldn’t be misconstrued as a villain.
What Do the Numbers Say?
Gambling companies have already taken a major hit with their online gambling revenue dropping down 30% and overall revenue shrinking by 60% due to the complete shutdown of sports betting across the world.
Daugher was skeptical of people who argued that gambling operators have been trying to exploit the pandemic and turn additional profit. He said that such statements were easy to peddle to the public, but didn’t reflect the truth and relied on exploiting a stereotypical negative perception of gambling.
While opponents of gambling have admittedly been more vociferous, the numbers back an increase in gambling. There has been a small jump, according to the Clean Up Gambling group, which ran a survey, indicating that regular gamblers have increased their gambling sessions by 28%.
Some 11% reported that they had increased their activity “a lot” during the shutdown. However, the 30% drop in online gambling revenue doesn’t quite align with this claim. Meanwhile, 45% respondents said that the government should make it more difficult to gamble lest people tempt and give in.
Close to 30% argued that gambling regulation was fine as is and no additional intervention on the part of the government was necessary at this point. Meanwhile, the UK National Lottery has vowed $750 million for charities and organizations which have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the second donation the UK National Lottery has enacted in the past few months. Previously, the lottery donated $375 million in March.