UK gambling ad laws to be relaxed

In the build up to the government announcing the location of the UK’s first supercasino, it has emerged that TV advertising laws for UK gambling operators are to be relaxed.

However, those gambling operators that are based outside Europe and Gibraltar wishing to advertise in the UK will have to apply for a special licence and prove that they are based in a jurisdiction that employs tight regulatory policies.

The aim of the new legislation, which will be implemented with the new Gambling Act 2005 on September 1, is to seal a loophole in current laws that allow gambling companies from badly regulated regions to dodge British rules, thus protecting consumers.

However, concerns are being raised that an increase in television advertising from gambling companies could be a danger to vulnerable groups and children. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University is wary of the dangers and believes the new laws should be accompanied by public awareness campaigns.

"Hardly any work has been carried out on whether advertising contributes to problem gambling, but in my view is does,” Griffiths said.

Tessa Jowell, Culture Secretary, is hopeful that gambling operators will help fund counselling for addicts through a levy. Although The Responsibility in Gambling Trust has announced that the industry is £3 million short of agreed contributions, Jowell has instructed ministers to put in place procedures that would force companies to make significant payments.

Editor, - 2007-01-30 11:01:07

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