The younger generation, who love to watch sports with football in particular, are being exposured to an increasing amount of betting advertisement. Over 90% of all TV advertising breaks during live UK football match feature at least one gambling advert. An average of more than 12 per match screened during the build-up, half-time and post-match analysis, which often includes deals of free bets; something enticing to teenagers and the younger generation. The substantial amount of adverts are starting to normalise betting, and make it part of enjoying a football or sport game. This means that when children reach the age of 18, they are far more likely to sign up to a betting company.
In 2005, an update to the Gambling Act was introduced, which came into affect in 2007. The biggest change under this act was that casinos, bookmakers and online betting sites will be able to advertise their services on TV and radio in the UK for the first time. This update had a huge impact on betting advertisement and was an increase of nearly 600% of adverts on TV since this came into force.
All of this raises the issue to whether betting adverts should only be shown on TV after a certain time and not day-time television. In a recent poll, I asked the question;
‘Do you feel betting adverts should be either banned, limited or left the same during day-time football?’
Over 70% believed they should be either banned or limited as they believed they are too influential to the younger generation. Many people expressed the views that betting adverts are on so repetitively, they are normalising betting and therefore some children may be lead to believe that, when becoming an adult, betting is a casual thing, which in cases can lead to addiction and lack of awareness.
On the other hand, others argued that it would be unfair to outright ban them on day-time TV because they do need to do their business and its a huge part of the modern day game.
The majority of betting companies refused to comment on the matter, however, SkyBet provided their evidence by using their promotion of ‘responsible’ gambling within their advertisements, by using the well-known slogan, ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’. They stated 50% of the adult population recognised this gambling ad campaign, and that this figure rose to 75% amongst regular gamblers. They also expressed how research into consumer attitude towards gambling advertising found that ‘Children’s exposure to sports betting was not seen as a significant problem’, which was said to be supported by further Ofcom research into children’s media usage. This demonstrated that total TV viewing hours are in decline among all children and that no live sports events were in the top twenty programmes watched by children.