Gambling Advertisement Ban: Pros & Cons

The constant increase in gambling advertisements started on 1 September 2007 when the Gambling Act 2005 came into force. Under this Act, the operators have been allowed to advertise across all media in the UK. Today, gambling-related advertisements are ever-present conducted through sponsorships or a variety of media. In sports betting, for example, the majority of clubs in the Premier League or Championship clubs have sponsors’ logos on their shirts or kits. These gambling commercials lead to a particular study regarding the impact of the advertisements on minors and vulnerable people. In June 2020, All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) suggested the government implement a law that bans gambling advertising. 

Because of the fact that no verification casino sites presented on CasinoGap list were so popular, there was a need to ban ads on them too. The UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) launched a call for evidence on a review of the 2005 Gambling Act on 8 December 2020. This will stay open until March 2021 in which the Gambling Commission roles, the stake limits, and other restrictions will be taken into account. A House of Lords Select Committee on gambling recommended that gambling advertising and shirt sponsorship should be banned by 2023. If the ban applies to the gambling ads, what will be the positive and negative impacts on the society, economy, or the environment?

Pros

Reduce Gambling Consumption

There are a growing number of countries that have introduced gambling advertising restrictions. Since advertising increases the demand and consumption of gambling, introducing a law to ban it will affect the public. In fact, gambling sponsorships in the football and rugby leagues have continued to grow as they are effective and quick ways for the gambling operators to reach their target audience. 

 

In the partnership between betting companies and the football club, their names will be recognized through the shirts and kits worn by the teams. This type of marketing allows the gambling operators to seduce the fans that follow the clubs. In addition, the advertisement is important to the success of the gambling companies. Prohibiting gambling advertising will, hence, minimize the number of gamblers which means a lower percentage of problem gambling.

Reduce Gambling Addiction

The “whistle-to-whistle” blackout was introduced by the gambling industry. This programme is, actually, a voluntary ban on betting adverts to protect minors from excessive exposure to gambling. This means that minimizing the gambling-related harms is another advantage of imposing a ban on gambling ads. Advertising and sponsorship are the options of reaching mass including underage audiences. 

And despite the regulation implemented to protect children from harm by prohibiting them from engaging in types of gambling, the marketing of betting products is still allowed. Therefore, the country has to fight against an increase in minors engaging in gambling and developing a gambling addiction. Furthermore, adults can also be vulnerable to compulsive gambling. The prohibition of gambling-related adverts can help to minimize or stop the gambling epidemic.

Cons

Premier League and EFL clubs will Fail Financially

Betting and gambling sponsorship are important in popular sports like football and rugby. In fact, the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) clubs win £110million in gambling sponsorship every year. Currently, in the EFL, 8 out of 20 clubs depend on sponsorship with the betting companies bringing them around £70m. 

Some of these popular clubs include West Ham, Leeds United, Newcastle United, and many others. The gambling firm sponsorship includes collaboration, sponsorship of training kits, and pitch-side hoardings. If the betting companies are prohibited from advertising, these clubs will face a financial struggle. Obviously, this can lead to the club’s failure as they have to pay a collective figure of £40m to the EFL.

Loss of jobs

Gambling has been one of the profitable businesses in the UK employing more than 100,000 people and providing around £2.8bn per year. In 2018, the gambling industry provided jobs for more than 100 thousand employees in which the majority works in the betting sphere. With this ban, the future of gambling firms is a mystery. However, one thing is for sure, thousands of shops will close and jobs will be lost leading to economic pain. 

Recent research found that the Gross Gambling Yield or GGY has shown an increase with about 14.4 billion British pounds in 2018. Not only do the gambling companies provide thousands of jobs but they also contribute to economic growth. The ban on gambling ads may lead to the closure of the industry certainly affecting the country’s economy.