Gambling companies are being pressured to stop sponsoring daytime TV shows in the United Kingdom.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm (APPG) has announced that it has written to ITV and Channel 5 executives, asking them to drop all daytime gambling sponsorship.
High visibility of daytime shows
The APPG expressed grave concern that gambling companies were taking advantage of the high visibility of daytime shows to market their offerings to a broader UK audience.
GalaBingo.com, an online bingo property of Entain Plc, was listed in the letter as a sponsor of Channel 5’s Australian soap opera “Neighbours.”
The APPG cautioned stations against using daytime programming to advertise casino brands to the general public.
“Gambling companies are sponsoring programmes which seek to glamorise gambling with the aim of targeting women and young people and encouraging them to gamble,” the APPG statement read.
“We are very concerned that television companies are promoting gambling – we have ourselves seen first-hand the harm and devastation that gambling can cause to young people’s lives, families and communities.”
Civic duty to protect viewers from gambling content
According to the APPG, UK broadcasters have a civic duty to protect their viewers from gambling content, especially during coronavirus lockdown.
New UK advertisement laws allow UK licenced bingo and casual games suppliers to advertise daytime shows, circumventing the current watershed limits on online casino advertising.
As part of the Betting and Gaming Council’s new “code of conduct” on ads, UK bookmakers introduced a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on daytime TV broadcasts in the summer of 2019.
The APPG noted that a blanket ban on gambling sponsorships and advertisements has been cited by proponents of the “experts by experience” community as a measure to reduce gambling social risks.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has announced that a study of UK advertisement regulations would be undertaken as part of its review of the 2005 Gambling Act.