UKGC emphasises need for gambling ads debate

The commission said that a debate is necessary. Credits: PlaynPay!

The recommendations come a few weeks after the Labour Party urged a ban on gambling ads during live events.

UK.- Ian Angus, programme director of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) said that there is a need for a proper and constructive debate in regards to gambling marketing and advertising, including sponsorship arrangements in sport.

Angus spoke about the issue at a Responsible Marketing for Gambling Operators Conference in London, weeks after the Labour Party concluded a review of gambling regulations and its Deputy leader Tom Watson said that more regulations were needed in order to properly treat problem gambling. The party called for a total ban on gambling advertising during live sporting events.

“At a time when consumer trust in gambling is at an all time low, it would be unwise for industry to ignore the hardening public and political mood around advertising. For some, it’s a moral reaction; for others it’s an irritant (stop bombarding me with gambling ads); but for many, including a growing number of researchers and academics, it reflects a genuine concern about the unknown impacts of children’s exposure to gambling advertising and sport sponsorship,” said Angus.

The director added: “It’s difficult to see how the “as is” scenario is sustainable. Parliamentary questions on advertising are tabled almost weekly, media headlines scream about irresponsible marketing practices, and prominent politicians, from across the political divide, are calling for drastic measures to reduce children’s exposure.”

Angus added that the advertising of free bets and bonuses is a good example, as well established advertising rules, drawn down from consumer law, make clear that marketing promotions must not mislead. “Industry was warned, time and time again, about misleading marketing practices but failed to act,” he said.

“My advice to you is this. A storm is gathering, but it can be avoided. Learn from the mistakes of the past – listen to what the public is saying and put responsible advertising standards at the very heart of your business. Don’t wait for the storm clouds to burst and precautionary measures to be triggered. Step up now and own this.”

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Source – Igaming world

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