Gambling firms and government at loggerheads

A new debate is set to intensify between the government and gambling and betting firms with a difference in opinion over television advertising.

The gambling industry proposed a set of guidelines to the government detailing a code of conduct relating to advertising on television, but the government believe it should be stricter.

That code stipulates, among other conditions, that it will not produce ads depicting people who look younger than 25 and will always carry the website addresses of organisations that help with problem gambling.

However, the government believe that any gambling ad should not be before the 9pm watershed and are keen for the gambling industry to accept the restriction.

A pre-9pm ban on gambling advertising would therefore forbid firms from lucrative and valued spots in between most sporting events. The gambling industry believe this restriction is unreasonable since gambling companies can sponsor sport programmes and buy advertising space at sporting events which will be seen on television at any time of the day.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the arm of the government responsible for implementing the new Gambling Act which will be introduced later this year, is in talks with representatives of the gambling industry but has declined to comment on the specifics of the discussions, only saying that talks are “ongoing” and that “nothing has been finalised”.

Editor, - 2007-07-30 11:33:47

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