March 20, 2024 3 min read


UK: Sheffield Approves Policy Banning Gambling Billboard Ads

The new policy is also going to affect unhealthy foods, vaping products, brands promoting alcoholic beverages and other industries

Changes to regulations about external advertising via billboards are going to make a big difference to the city of Sheffield in the UK. The City Council’s finance committee met on Monday this week, discussing and approving a new policy that would effectively prohibit the advertising of gambling, fast food, vaping and fossil fuel-related brands.

The major change affects billboards under the control of the council. The new policy is going to come into effect as of next month and will prohibit advertisements for betting and gambling products, as well as such companies and services.

Besides gambling, the change would affect tobacco and tobacco-related products, vaping and e-cigarettes with a sole exception when those are used in anti-smoking initiatives. Further products and brands that will be banned include airlines, companies related to fossil fuels and any product that is related to pornography or sexual entertainment.

Ads for any form of illegal drug or guns, alcoholic beverages, including products with no or low alcohol along with cars that are diesel, petrol or electric will also be banned from billboards under Sheffield Council’s control. Companies that offer food delivery, unhealthy foods that contain lots of sugar, salt or fat, are also not going to be advertised via billboards.

Ultimately, the change seeks to safeguard the health of people while granting a chance for local brands to utilize the advertisement spaces. While generally billboards are used by large-scale businesses, this policy will seek to encourage advertising by medium and small-sized companies.

An Ambitious Policy That Helps Attract New Opportunities

During the latest council meeting, concerns were raised about the policy’s effect on certain companies and brands. Councilors asked about the impact of the policy on brands and organizations that are associated with gambling. How the betting and gambling industry will respond to the change remains to be seen.

Despite concerns, Councilor Zahira Naz, the chair of the committee, who was recently quoted by The Star, deemed the city’s new advertising policy “ambitious.” She added: “We have to limit exposure to products that are contradicted to better outcomes for people and the planet.” Finally, Naz said: “I think this policy is going in the right direction on that but we have also taken a balanced approach to ensure that Sheffield can still attract ambitious opportunities for the city, allow support for local businesses.”

Recently, research into social media gambling ads conducted by Bristol University uncovered that gambling content marketing via social media platforms is difficult to be recognized as advertising regardless of the age group.

Among young adults, aged 11 to 17 years old, only 43% were able to identify gambling content marketing as advertising. The result for the adult group was a bit better with 65% successfully identifying gambling content marketing via social media as advertising.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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