UK Majority Wants Total Ban on Gambling Ads

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The majority of the UK’s public wants a total ban on gambling ads, and three-quarters of the people surveyed want tighter restrictions nationwide. 

Majority of People in the UK Want Gambling Ads Banned

According to a YouGov survey conducted in the UK, the majority of the 12,000 people surveyed want a total ban on gambling advertisements, and three-quarters of them want tighter restrictions nationwide. The survey found out that 77% of the people support a ban on gambling advertising on TV and radio before 9 pm. The percentage is almost the same for people who want gambling ads banned online, including social media.

The survey is part of broader research on public health by the anti-smoking group ASH. Only 14% of all the people surveyed opposed the gambling ban. Two-thirds of the adults and half of the children favored the measure.

RSPH Urges the UK Government for Tighter Regulation on Ads

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) used the survey as leverage to urge the UK government to review the gambling regulation and reduction of gambling ads on all media channels: online, TV, and radio.

RSPH chief executive Christina Marriott said that gambling is addictive, and its advertisement should be restricted, the same way it is for tobacco. She said that “a stronger stand” is needed to protect social and cultural lives. Gambling inflicts harm not only on individuals but on families, communities, and even workplaces.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs a cross-party group examining gambling harm, stated that the public and parliament strongly support such a ban.

The government recently announced that it would ban ads for junk food on broadcast media and online before 9 pm. The UK government could proceed the same way with gambling ads.

BGC Praised Whistle Ban Last Year

Last year the UK Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) praised “the whistle ban,” aimed to prevent kids under 18 from seeing online betting ads. In a tweet, BGC stated that keeping young people safe is “key to its mission to drive higher industry standards.”

The UK gambling industry has tightened its seat belt as of last year due to many changes. There are anti-money laundering practices and tighter identity verification checks since 2020. The government spends more money on education, treatment, and research related to gambling addiction.

Recently, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced license fees cost increase for all businesses in the gambling industry as of October 1. According to DCMS, the cost increase is would help the UKGC control the industry better as it rapidly changes due to technological innovation.

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