Gambling advertising to be removed from UK screens

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Rise in gambling self exclusions in the UK 

The United Kingdom’s Betting and Gaming Council said all its members had voluntarily agreed to remove all forms of advertising for at least the next six weeks.

Bandt reports that the BGC, which represents betting shops, online betting and gaming, bingo and casinos, said the move would result in the removal of half of all product advertising on television and radio.

The move comes after the industry was blamed for exploiting vulnerable people during lockdown.

Earlier this month, a group of 20 British MPs signed a letter calling for curbs on gambling, including a moratorium on advertising.

BGC’s chief executive Michael Dugher said: “We are determined to do everything we can to protect customers potentially at risk during this lockdown period and beyond.”

He added that all operators will “look to implement this change as rapidly as possible but no later than Thursday, May 7.”

In Australia, following the postponement of major sports leagues such as the AFL and NRL, gamblers have reportedly moved into riskier pursuits, such as online casino games.

A recent Survation poll into the gambling habits of Australians during coronavirus found that regular gamblers said they were gambling more.

A quarter of those who typically bet at least once a week said they were still doing so, while 28 per cent had increased their activity and 11 per cent said they were gambling a lot more.

The survey of 1000 gamblers also found that 41 per cent of people who bet had opened a new online account since the pandemic took hold.

And more than a third of regular gamblers believed they were either spending too much on the habit, or were fast developing an addiction.

In better news, the closure of pubs and clubs in Australia has seen a dramatic fall in people, and addicts, playing the pokies.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform says more than $1 billion has been saved in poker machine losses in the past five weeks.

Google to relax casino ads policy

Google is planning to allow real money online casino adverts in the United States in a stunning backflip on one of its moral advertising principles.

High Stakes is reporting the move could prove to be a boon for the poker, sports betting, casino and gambling industry, who have struggled to get their adverts through some of Google’s strict policies, despite states in the United States legalising the industry in recent times.

Google has so far restricted the ability of such companies to get their product to the masses through its search engine.

According to EGR Intel, Google is “planning to unblock online casino adverts in the US gambling market by the first quarter of 2020” following an earlier decision to allow fantasy betting in some states.

Last month, the states of Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were given the all-clear to advertise, joining Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia – with countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Colombia also named.

Operators will benefit tremendously because they will have access to tools such as Google Ads, Google Display Network and YouTube to target their customers.

For the online poker industry, it remains to be seen how much they will benefit, but this move reflects a general trend that sees the financial benefits take precedence over oppressive regulation.

Although Google is insistent that regulation will still determine which markets get access to the relaxed rules, it is seen by many in the industry as a positive step.

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