All bets are off: Bookmakers agree to TV advert ban during live sport
- Britain’s big bookmakers have agreed to end advertising during live sport on TV
- Football broadcasters will take big financial hit but top-flight clubs could benefit
- All but one of the 20 Premier League clubs have a gambling partner
- Move follows political pressure about the amount of betting advertising on TV
Britain’s big bookmakers have agreed to end advertising during live sport on TV, amid concerns about children being exposed to gambling.
Football broadcasters will take a huge financial hit, with betting having accounted for almost one in five adverts during the World Cup. But Premier League clubs could benefit, according to one top-flight commercial director.
‘This potentially makes advertising at matches more valuable,’ the club official told Sportsmail.
Britain’s big bookmakers have agreed to end advertising during live sport on television
The likes of Bet365 and Paddy Power have struck a deal to agree a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ TV ban
All but one of the 20 Premier League clubs have a gambling partner and deals can be worth up to £20million a year.
The move follows political pressure about the amount of betting advertising on television.
FOOTBALL AND GAMBLING
A report by the Gambling Commission in 2017 suggested as many as 430,000 people in the UK have gambling issue.
In turn, football’s relationship with gambling has fallen under scrutiny. Nine of the 20 Premier League teams and 17 of 24 Championship teams are sponsored by gambling companies.
The gambling industry is worth £1.4bn, with the Gambling Commission saying £333m was made from sports bets from Oct 2015 to Sep 2016.
Tom Watson MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: ‘There was clear public support for these restrictions and I’m glad that the Remote Gambling Association has taken its responsibilities seriously and listened.’
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 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.
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.
All but one Premier League club have a gambling partner, with deals worth millions a year
Horse racing will be exempt from restrictions because of gambling’s commercial importance
More than 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 is expected to be a formality and the ban could come into place as early as this month or at the start of 2019.