Bookmakers TV advertising changes this week

Ladbrokes Bookmakers

The betting industry is now just a week away from new advertising regulation being implemented by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The new rules, enforceable from April 2nd, will restrict adverts that the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) have declared to convey an “inappropriate sense of urgency”.  Therein never again will you will hear phrases such as “Bet Now” in a commercial broadcast during a live game.

Similarly the new rules will attempt to curb the “trivialisation of gambling”, toning down calls to place several bets and/or bet regularly.  And advertisers must also adopt a crystal-clear approach in regards to the risks involved with gambling.

It will be the job of the regulatory Advertising Standards Authority to make decisions on what adverts are appropriate to broadcast based on the CAP’s criteria.

Explaining the new advertising rules and reasons for them Shahriar Coupal, director of the Committees of Advertising Practice said: “We won’t tolerate gambling ads that exploit people’s vulnerabilities to play fast and loose with eye-catching free bet and bonus offers.

“Our new guidance takes account of the best available evidence to strengthen the protections already in place, ensuring that gambling is presented responsibly, minimising the potential for harm.”

Painting by numbers…

That ‘harm’ refers to problem gambling and has doubtlessly been prompted by a 2015 report into gambling compiled by the Gambling Commission which found that a total of 1.4 percent of gamblers were classed as ‘problem gamblers’.

In an attempt to not promote gambling before a young audience the betting industry is banned from advertising in or around all programmes aimed at young people.  Voluntarily it doesn’t advertise before the 9pm watershed either.

However, the airwaves are flooded by bookmakers selling their apps, latest products, free bets and bet boosts during live televised sporting events.  Recent BBC research found that 95% of British football matches on TV currently feature at least one gambling commercial during its commercial breaks. That does indeed paint a bleak picture, one of desperation and urgency on behalf of the bookmaking industry.


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