TV gambling ad ban lifted

New rules have been set out which will allow online casinos, betting shops and gambling sites to advertise on TV as part of the impending Gambling Act 2005 which will be brought into force from September.

However, advertisers will have to adhere to strict rules to ensure they are “socially responsible”.

This means that advertisers must not promote gambling as a way to solve debt problems and must not appeal to the young and vulnerable. As such, gambling ads must not be shown in and around programmes aimed at under 18’s and must not depict people gambling who look younger than 25

The rules, drawn up by the Committee of Advertising Practise (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practise (BCAP), are similar to those that alcohol companies currently work within. Furthermore, the adverts must not link gambling to seduction, sexual success or improved attractiveness.  

"These changes to gambling regulation mark a significant milestone in the way betting and gaming can be advertised in the UK," said roger Wisbey, CAP and BCAP secretary.

"Of paramount importance is making sure that the advertising gambling restrictions provide a high level of consumer protection."

However, if the new guidelines fail to achieve this goal or advertisers break the rules, Richard Caborn, the Minister for Sport, has warned that the government will take action.

"If they are insufficient to ensure proper public protection, the government will consider using its additional powers to impose further restrictions,” warned Mr Caborn.

The adverts will be monitored by the Advertising Standards Authority and any violations could see a referral to the Gambling Commission or sanctions imposed by Ofcom, the independent regulator for TV and radio.

The new guidelines will accompany advertising laws which will also cover adverts from gambling companies based abroad.

Editor, - 2007-03-13 10:38:49

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