Football: Gambling

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 7th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Foster of Bath Lord Foster of Bath Chair, Rural Economy Committee, Chair, Rural Economy Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of suspending advertisements by gambling operators during the 2021 UEFA European Championship.

Photo of Lord Foster of Bath Lord Foster of Bath Chair, Rural Economy Committee, Chair, Rural Economy Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of advertisements by gambling operators that will be aired before 9pm during the 2021 UEFA European Championship.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government has not made an estimate of the number of advertisements by gambling operators that will be aired before 9pm during the 2021 UEFA European Championship. Broadcasters have discretion over how advertising breaks are set and what adverts are broadcast, in line with Ofcom and ASA standards. In addition, the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising includes a whistle to whistle ban that also prohibits adverts for betting being shown during live sports broadcast before the 9pm watershed. Subject to these rules, the volume of adverts depends on the commercial arrangements put in place between the gambling operators and the broadcasters. All gambling advertising, wherever it appears, is subject to strict controls on content and placement.

Gambling adverts must never be targeted at children or vulnerable people. The Advertising Standards Authority independently administers these standards through the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) which covers online and non-broadcast spaces and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) for TV. If an advert for gambling holds particular appeal to children and is freely accessible then it will break the rules.

The government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. This closed on 31 March and received approximately 16,000 submissions from a broad range of interested organisations and individuals. As part of the wide scope of that Review, we called for evidence on the benefits or harms of allowing gambling operators to advertise and we are considering the evidence carefully.

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