According to a research by the BBC, almost every ITV World Cup commercial break features gambling advertisements. Radio 4’s You and Yours program discovered that most commercial breaks in the World Cup matches so far contained at least one or two gambling ads. Gambling firms say that they are also concerned on the number of gambling messages aired during live sport. However, the situation is unlikely to change until the government initiates legislation on the same.
With new laws, gambling ads can be aired after 9 pm or specific times such as live sports fixtures. Some of the biggest advertised during the World Cup commercial breaks include Skybet, Bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power, Betfred, William Hill and Coral.
The research on the gambling ads assessed eleven games broadcasted on ITV and found that each game had at least six ad breaks. Interestingly, out of the 66 breaks, 62 of them had one or two gambling advertisements.
Representatives of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling such as Matt Zarb-Cousin argue that there should be restriction of gambling advisements during football games. Zarb-Cousin says that showing such ads before watershed is inappropriate because kids could be watching them. Mr. Zarb-Cousin says that his problem as a gambler was intensified by gambling advertisements. A research conducted in Australia found that when children see the gambling ads, theythink that one has to bet to enjoy the game. As such, Australia opted to ban the ads in the course of sporting events.
People following the World Cup on ITV have also raised concerns on social media platform on the number of gambling ads this week. However, ITV insists that the number of the ads is equal to those aired in previous tournaments. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reports that it has received similar complaints and always witnesses an increase in the complaints when there are big sports tournaments.
Interestingly, there are stern rules that regulate gambling advertising. For instance, adverts should not appeal to kids, depict gambling as seductive or suggest that gambling is a solution for financial problems. In the past twelve months, numerous companies have had to pay fines for breaking advertising regulations. These include Casumo, 888, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Foxy Bingo.
Recently, the advertising watchdog introduced even stricter rules and banned gambling firms from luring customers to bet with phrases such as “bet now”. Some gambling firms have said that they would like to see the Imposition of restrictions’ on the number of gambling ads shown in television. Some gambling companies say they would like to see restrictions on the amount of gambling advertising shown on television.