Britain’s biggest gambling firms will stop all TV and radio advertising during coronavirus lockdown
Britain’s largest gambling firms will remove all TV and radio advertising for games and products during the coronavirus lockdown, the industry body said today.
Existing TV and radio advertising slots are now due to be replaced by safer gambling messages, donated to charities or removed from broadcast for at least six weeks.
It comes a week after the Government wrote to gambling firms to ask them for regular updates on how they are tackling problem gambling during the lockdown.
Britain’s largest gambling firms will remove all TV and radio advertising for games (file image)
The Betting and Gaming Council said it came despite despite a drop in advertising spend – and TV sport and casino advertisements falling by up to 10 per cent.
The organisation said the measure also comes in the face of a drop in online revenue of up to 30 per cent and total member revenue down by up to 60 per cent.
The London-based BGC said that its members currently account for around 50 per cent of all gambling advertising on TV and radio.
It also called on the other major TV and radio gambling operators such as the National Lottery, society lotteries and other bingo operators to drop their adverts.
The BGC said all operators will look to implement the change ‘as rapidly as possible’ but no later than May 7, the day on which the lockdown is due to be reviewed.
It will remain in force for six weeks and until at least June 5, which the organisation saying it will only be reviewed when lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
BGC chief Michael Dugher said: ‘From day one of this crisis, we have sought to protect customers potentially at risk, including announcing stepping up safer gambling measures as part of our ten pledges for Covid-19 in March.
‘This latest move by the regulated industry further underlines our commitment to safer betting and gaming, with many people cut off and feeling anxious.
‘We are determined to do everything we can to protect customers potentially at risk during this lockdown period and beyond – and we are determined to drive the high standards that the public expect from us. I hope others follow our lead.’