25.062018Concerns over Gambling Ads Shown During World Cup in the United Kingdom
Gambling is widespread in the United Kingdom, but in recent years it has been the subject of a lot of controversy, with fixed-online betting terminals bearing the brunt of it and online casinos also taking a hit.
One of the biggest concerns for gambling watchdogs right now is the World Cup and how it could be influencing youngsters to gamble.
Gambling During the World Cup
A recent watchdog found that every single ad break during every single ITV World Cup game in June contained at least 1 gambling advert.
To the advertisers, this only makes sense. It is targeted advertising after all, and ITV are a private corporation who make their money through advertising (unlike the BBC, who are showing the other half of the Wold Cup games and do not have ad breaks). Sports betting sites want to target sports bettors, and because the World Cup is the biggest betting event in the world, it’s the perfect platform for them.
But watchdogs are growing increasingly concerned because problem gambling is on the rise, these World Cup games are being watched by children, and all of them are on after the watershed.
They fear that it normalizes gambling for a demographic who could be heavily influenced by such an activity.
Why is This Allowed?
Gambling adverts have been limited in the UK and they are not allowed to be shown prior to the 9pm watershed. However, there is one exception: live sporting events. The World Cup is live, and this means that even though the games are shown much earlier than the watershed, the broadcasters are allowed to show gambling adverts.
For the average adult, especially those who use this site, gambling is normal and perfectly harmless. But to problem gamblers it is not. Not only are they being exposed to it, but the next generation run the risk of turning into problem gamblers by the constant exposure as well.
Or at least, that’s what the watchdog believe. If you ask us, it doesn’t make a difference. Kids who like football will watch football whether it’s on before 9pm or after. What’s more, they are so used to ignoring adverts that they probably don’t pay attention to what they see anyway.
However, it is possible that this World Cup and these gambling ads could trigger a change in the law. Whether that change occurs in advertising or in gambling itself remains to be seen.
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