According to data released by television network ITV, the number of betting advertisements during the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020 has been reduced to almost half as compared to the World Cup three years ago (FIFA World Cup 2018).
The betting adverts suffered a cut down of around 50% as per the figures stated by the broadcaster ITV. Precisely, just 85 such adverts appeared on ITV and ITV4 during the group stages of the championship. This number is 47% less than the 161 betting ads shown during the group stages of the last World Cup in 2018.
The reduction in betting adverts has come as a result of the ban enforced by Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members in 2019. Under the ban, betting adverts must not be shown on TV from five minutes before a live sporting event begins until five minutes after it ends, prior to the 9 pm watershed.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC spoke on the success of the ban and added, “These figures are testament to the success of the whistle-to-whistle ban and the continued drive for higher standards introduced by the regulated industry since 2019. At the start of the tournament, we had the same siren voices from the usual suspects in the anti-gambling lobby making dire warnings about people being ‘bombarded’ with betting ads and calling for a ban. I’m pleased that calls from prohibitionists to ban TV betting ads are baseless and not backed up by the evidence, with the Government themselves also acknowledging that independent research ‘did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling.”
According to a report last year, it was found that aforementioned restrictions led to a 97% reduction in such adverts being seen by children. Following this successful trend, ITV took the decision to ban gambling ads during last night’s semi-final between England and Denmark, in which England won 2-1 in extra time. Such a decision to ban betting ads was taken keeping in mind the fact that an estimated 20 million people across the UK watch the England national team, including many children.
Before the tournament got underway, ITV had already promised to significantly reduce the betting adverts on its channel. But this initiative, which is a part of the Gambling with Lives charity, called for a complete blackout during the highly-anticipated showdown.
Following last night’s semi-final success against Denmark, the England national team and the entire country is now looking forward to the ultimate showdown on Sunday against Italy.