ITV – one of the most reputable UK broadcasters – has recently addressed the growing pressure from MP Ronnie Cowan, member of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on further changes to regulating gambling ads during the 2020 UEFA European Championships, which are broadcasted worldwide.
Looking back at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the broadcaster promoted 172 gambling-related ads over the course of its coverage, with significant funds of over £2.3 billion betted in the UK alone.
Following up from this comparison, ITV had released a statement, saying: “The amount of gambling advertising around the live broadcast of football matches at the Euros will be significantly reduced compared to the 2018 World Cup”.
This had received various criticisms and confusion from gambling fans and other MPs, as two entertainment industries that essentially merge into one during this event – football and betting on it – are now visibly affected.
The majority of ITV matches are going to be broadcasted live, excluding gambling ads under the “whistle-to-whistle” ban; whilst the before 9PM games will have no gambling ads during breaks.
However, this change was welcomed by some as a steppingstone for raising awareness on gambling addiction and gambling-related suicide; with such a large audience coverage of the event, it is just the right place to do so.
MP for Invercylde and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm said that “it will be impossible” to watch the Euro 2020 tournament without the damaging gambling ads visuals, as well as emphasising the need to minimise this exposure even further.
Appearing to be strongly backing a ban of gambling ads on ITV during Euro 2020, he noted that “ads are already on display around the playing surface and elsewhere”, reiterating the possible harm of children and vulnerable groups of people viewing and being influenced by them. He also urged for a “major reform” in the near future.
This had, in turn, triggered a prompt response from the Betting and Gaming Council, which stated that there are strict guidelines in place when it comes to betting sponsorships and ads, reiterating that these “must comply” with regulations that promote “safer gambling messages” and ensure the audience’s awareness on gambling addiction and potential issues that may arise when problem-betting.
As a 2022 graduate studying Media, Marketing & PR, Nadia is a content writer with experience in freelance blogging and copywriting. It's her job to write news stories and create online gaming opinion reviews. You can find out more about her work here.
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