Ban on TV sports betting ads is 'sensible move', says CARE

(Photo: Unsplash/Helloimnik)

Christian advocacy group CARE has welcomed the decision by gambling firms to ban adverts during TV sports broadcasts.

The 'whistle to whistle' ban has been voluntarily agreed to by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and effectively puts an end to betting advertisements being shown during live sports broadcasts on TV.

The RGA's members include some of the biggest betting chains in the UK like Ladbrokes and Paddy Power among others.

CARE spokesperson James Mildred said the ban was 'excellent news' as he warned that excessive betting advertising was contributing to Britain's gambling problem.

'Anyone who watched the last World Cup could not fail to notice the sheer number of betting ads being shown, many of them well before the 9pm watershed,' he said.

'The sheer abundance of betting ads being shown, especially around sporting events is not helping the UK's problem gambling epidemic.

'A whistle-to-whistle ban is a sensible move and if this voluntary deal is honoured, hopefully this will help mean fewer people, especially fewer young people are exposed to ads that glamorise and normalise gambling.'

Alarming new figures released last month revealed that the number of children with a gambling problem in the UK has quadrupled in the last two years.

The Gambling Commission study found that 450,000 children aged 11 to 16 bet regularly, with the most popular forms being scratchcards, slot machines and bets among friends.

Mr Mildred said that gambling legislation was 'in many ways out of date' and that although the latest whistle-to-whistle ban was to be welcomed, 'there is a lot more that needs to be done'. 

'The surge in problem gambling among young people is truly shocking and so decisions like this are a crucial part of beginning to address this very serious problem,' he said.