Cyprus Mail

Gambling companies banned from TV adverts during live events

Nearly 60 per cent of football clubs in England's top two divisions have gambling companies as shirt sponsors

Betting adverts are to be banned during live sports broadcasts, according to a BBC report.

The move follows political pressure about the amount of betting advertising on television, with more than 90 minutes of adverts shown during the football World Cup last summer.

BBC Sport has reported that the Remote Gambling Association, which includes Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power among others, has struck a deal to agree a “whistle-to-whistle” TV advertising ban.

The deal is said to ensure no adverts will be broadcast for a defined period before and after a game is broadcast.

It will reportedly include any game that starts prior to the 9pm watershed but ends after that time.

Anti-gambling campaigners say sport’s use of adverts “normalises” betting and the RGA has previously said it was “very mindful of public concerns”.

It has been claimed that whistle-to-whistle advertising contributes to the rise in the amount of problem gamblers – with a Gambling Commission report suggesting 430,000 Britons can be described as such – and helps fuel under-age gambling.

According to the BBC, horse racing will be exempt from the restrictions because of the commercial importance of gambling on its viability, but all other sports will be included.

The impact of the ban will be mostly felt in football given the financial value of the sport to both the gambling companies and broadcasters.

Nearly 60 per cent of clubs in England’s top two divisions have gambling companies as shirt sponsors.

It is expected that the final ratification of the TV ban is needed from the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling before it comes into force.

But it has been reported that is a formality and will come into place as early as this month or at the start of 2019.

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