In the latest of their measures demonstrating their commitment to responsible gambling, members of the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council have voluntarily agreed to suspend all TV and radio advertising for 6weeks from next week.
The suspension will start no later than 7 May, will last until at least 5 June, and will be reviewed only when lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
Other measures taken by BGC members include increasing safer gambling messages, stepping up interventions if customers spend more time or money than before the lockdown, and actively promoting deposit limits. These are all good steps at any time, and particularly now when there may be a greater temptation to gamble – though so far the industry has not seen the dramatic rise in online betting which some predicted.
The move has been welcomed by the All-party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, which has also called for the industry to limit deposits and stakes during the lockdown, closure of VIP accounts and provision of data on the scale of activity (see here).
The BGC represents 90% of the regulated betting and gaming industry in the UK, but not lotteries. Their action doesn’t mean that all gambling advertising on TV or radio will stop – unless the National Lottery, bingo lotteries and society lotteries (of which the best known are perhaps the Health Lotteries and the People’s Postcode Lotteries) adopt a similar approach.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the industry standards body which represents betting shops, online betting and gaming, bingo and casinos, has agreed the voluntary removal of all gaming product advertising as a further part of its response to the COVID-19 lockdown, despite a drop in advertising spend and the volume of TV sport and casino advertisements dropping by up to 10 per cent.