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TV betting ads during World Cup fall since last World Cup

29 December 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The number of TV betting adverts shown on ITV during the World Cup group stages fell by 34% compared to the World Cup in 2018, new figures have revealed.

According to new data, when excluding all Lottery adverts, a total of 110 ads appeared on ITV during the World Cup 2022 group stages.

That is 34 per cent less than the 167 betting adverts shown on the channel during the same stage of the last World Cup four years ago.

It works out at 4.5 ads per live match at this year’s tournament, compared to 8.35 in 2018.

The reduction is a direct result of the whistle-to-whistle ban introduced by Betting and Gaming Council members in 2019.

Under the voluntary ban, TV betting commercials cannot be shown from five minutes before a match kicks off until five minutes after it ends, before the 9pm watershed.

A report last year found that the ban had led to a 97 per cent reduction in the number of such ads being seen by children at that time.

BGC members already pledge that 20 per cent of their TV and radio ads are safer gambling messages.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council said: “At the start of the World Cup, the usual suspects said we would see a “perfect storm” of problem gambling, sparked by waves of betting adverts. This data prove that these warnings were yet again wrong.

“The evidence shows that calls from prohibitionists to ban betting ads and sports sponsorship are not backed up by the evidence, with the Government themselves acknowledging independent research ‘did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling’.

“Nevertheless, the reduction in betting ads is further proof of the continued commitment by BGC members to raising standards - while also promoting safer gambling tools like setting deposit limits and time-outs, and signposting help to the those who need it. All of this is in marked contrast to the unsafe, unregulated black market online that pays no tax and makes no contribution to the economy or many of our much loved sports”.

As well as taking action on TV adverts to protect young people, BGC members have joined forces with the world’s biggest social media sites to introduce new age-gating rules, preventing betting adverts being seen by under 25s for most sites.

According to a report by EY, BGC members support 110,000 jobs, generate £4.2 billion in tax for the Treasury, and contribute £7.1 billion in gross value added for the U.K. economy.

They also provide £350 million a year for horseracing through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy, £40 million for clubs in the English football league and millions more for rugby league, snooker and darts.

Every month 22.5 million adults in the UK enjoy a game of bingo, bet on football, horses, greyhounds and other sports. Problem gambling rates are also among the lowest in Europe at 0.3%, according to the independent regulator.

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