Whistle-to-whistle Ban on Adverts Reduces Minor’s Exposure

A Betting and Gambling Council commissioned report shows a dramatic fall in the number of gambling-related adverts that under-18’s see. A ban on this adverts during sporting events is attributed to the drop.


Children’s Exposure to Betting Adverts Down 97% © Pixabay.

The betting industry’s self-imposed “whistle-to-whistle” ban has reduced children’s exposure to gambling advertisements by an incredible 97%, according to data released by the Betting and Gambling Council (BGC). The trade-body commissioned study revealed that there were 1.7 billion fewer adverts broadcast in the first five months following the introduction of the voluntary ban.

Research performed by Enders Analysis showed that in September 2018, an average of six gambling-related adverts was viewed by under-18’s, this number reduced to almost zero in 2019 when the ban came into place.

Under the terms of the blanket ban, gambling adverts cannot be shown pre-watershed (currently 05:30 am until 9 pm or 05:30 till 8 pm for pay-per-view events) from five minutes before an event starts until five minutes after it finishes. There are exceptions in place for greyhound and horseracing races.

The ban also had an impact on adults with the research showing a sharp decrease in the number of gambling adverts seen by over 18’s. In September 2018, the number of commercials viewed was 108; this figure fell to just five in September a year later.

The data also shows total exposure to gambling-related advertising is 97% down from 2018 to 2019. In September 2018, the average person was exposed to 114 adverts; this was reduced to just five in September

The report also shows that it is events pre-watershed, which has seen the greatest decline in the volume of betting advertising. Pre-watershed, the number of adverts was down 78% year-on-year comparing the 2018 and 2019 data. However, post-watershed only saw a drop in the volume of 20%.

While it is sports betting advertising that has seen the biggest drop in volume, the report shows that other gambling verticals have been affected by the ban. Bingo, lotteries and scratchcard commercials are also down 59% between 2018 and 2019 with a total of nearly 100 million few adverts.

Speaking about the results of the research, BGC CEO Michael Dugher said he welcomed the findings and that they were proof that the BGC was carrying out its mandate to improve standards across the industry.

Dugher said, “The success of the whistle-to-whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment, and I’m very pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation. In particular, it’s encouraging to see that it has effectively eliminated children’s ability to view betting adverts during live televised sport,” he added:

I am determined that the BGC will lead a race to the top in terms of industry standards and we want to drive more changes in the future Michael Dugher, BGC CEO

The BGC this week also unveiled stricter measures which also has the goal of reducing children’s exposure to gambling advertising. Effective from 1 October, the BGC is implementing the Council’s Sixth Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.

The guidelines state that advertising must be marketed at the over 25’s and on platforms such as YouTube, only age-verified accounts will be allowed to promote gambling services and products.

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