An independent charity is urging the UK government to introduce additional restrictions on gambling advertisement as part of the Gambling Act review.
To make its case, the Royal Society for Public Health pointed to a YouGov survey involving more than 12,000 people, which found that a mere 14% of the population is against a total ban on gambling ads. Meanwhile, 77% of adults are in favour of banning gambling ads from TV and radio before 9 p.m.
Most of the participants in the survey also want restrictions on gambling ads extended to the digital sphere, including on social media. 76% of adults agree that gambling ads shouldn’t be displayed online before 9 p.m.
The majority, 65% of adults, also say that the gambling industry shouldn’t sponsor teams and sporting events. Imposing an additional levy for gambling companies is supported by 76% of surveyed adults and using those funds to prevent and reduce problematic gambling behaviour.
39% of the UK’s adults have an unfavourable view of the gambling industry.
Fortunately, 88% of surveyed UK residents said they weren’t impacted by someone’s negative gambling habits in the last year. Only 1% said they were affected “a great deal” and 2% “to some extent.”
RSPH is arguing that almost 20% of the UK’s population is at risk from gambling-related issues and wants the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to impose stricter advertising regulation.
“Advertising is a powerful force in our society – it not only influences what we buy, but it also tells us what is normal and what we should aspire to,” said the Chief Executive of RSPH Christina Marriot. “Given the harm that gambling can inflict on individuals, families, workplaces and communities, we need to take a stronger stand against it being embedded into our social and cultural lives. We no longer allow airtime to other products which harm our health, like tobacco products: gambling should be no different.”
The UK gambling industry is aware of the need for responsible gaming. Therefore, the top online casinos offer options that allow players to set limits on how much time and money they spend on gambling.