Betting adverts set to ‘drown out’ the dangers of online gambling
A ‘Bet Regret’ campaign is set to feature in the commercial break during half-time of Manchester United’s game against Liverpool on Sunday, but so too will adverts for some of the UK’s leading betting firms.
This has led to warnings from campaigners that the dangers of gambling will be “drowned out” by the pro-betting adverts. The new Bet Regret adverts that are being launched by Gamble Aware, a charity funded by a voluntary levy on betting companies, will also run during the Premier League games being played between Newcastle United and Burnley on 26 February, and between Chelsea and Tottenham on 27 February.
Agreement from the betting industry to restrict TV advertising
The move to show the adverts highlighting the dangers of reckless gambling comes after the UK’s biggest betting companies agreed to a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ television advertising ban, which will come into force in August.
It also follows political pressure about the amount of betting advertising on TV, especially before, during and after major sporting events. More than 90 minutes of adverts were shown during the World Cup this summer, with anti-gambling campaigners denouncing sport’s use of adverts as ‘normalising’ betting.
Young men are more likely to bet on sport
A spokesperson for Gamble Aware said that the Bet Regret adverts were part of a wider Safer Gambling Campaign, which has been commissioned by the government. The aim is to control the gambling of sports fans after interviewing some of the 2.4 million men aged 16-34 who regularly bet on sport. The adverts are aimed at a group of predominantly young men who might make bets that then lead them into problems in the future. The Gambling Commission says there are 430,000 problem gamblers in Britain.
TV to contribute to the campaign
Television broadcasters will contribute the equivalent of £1.6m in airtime to the Bet Regret campaign, but in 2017 they earned a whopping £234m from betting advertising and marketing, up from £155m in 2014.
Manchester United face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday 24 February in what could be a defining game of the Premier League title race. The game kicks-off at 14.05 live on Sky Sports Main Event, with the advert set to be aired from 14.50.