ITV’s data shows that the number of gambling ads played during the group phase of the Euro 2020 football tournament has dropped by 47% compared to the 2018 World Cup group stage.
The TV network played 85 betting-related ads on its ITV and ITV4 channels during the group stage of the competition. This was a significant drop, amounting to only 53% of the 161 ads played to that stage of the 2018 World Cup. That’s an average of 3.7 ads per match, while the World Cup had 6.9.
According to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the reduction is due to the “whistle-to-whistle” ban. The ban prohibits gambling ads during a live sports match if it’s before the 9 p.m. watershed, but they can be shown five minutes before and after the match.
Thanks to the ban, the number of ads seen by children between the age of four and 17 has dropped by 97%, according to the BGC.
Furthermore, the BGC pointed out that its members dedicate at least 20% of their ads to safe gambling. The direct result of the whistle-to-whistle campaign is 109 million fewer views of gambling advertisements, according to a BGC update from April 2021.
“These figures are testament to the success of the whistle-to-whistle ban and the continued drive for higher standards introduced by the regulated industry since 2019,” said the chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, Michael Dugher.
“At the start of the tournament, we had the same siren voices from the usual suspects in the anti-gambling lobby making dire warnings about people being ‘bombarded’ with betting ads and calling for a ban.”
Dugher also referred to John Whittingdale, Minister for Media and Data, who said to parliament that there isn’t a direct link between these ads and risky gambling.
“I’m pleased that calls from prohibitionists to ban TV betting ads are baseless and not backed up by the evidence, with the government themselves also acknowledging that independent research ‘did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling,” said Dugher.
Top online betting establishments are aware of the issues of problematic gambling and exposing minors to gambling ads. The betting venues we review promote responsible gambling and have tools to help players if they’re losing control.