Pressure is being placed on UK broadcasters to end the sponsorship of daytime TV programmes by gambling operators.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm (APPG) has revealed that it has written to the bosses of ITV and Channel 5 urging the broadcasters to end all daytime sponsorship promoting gambling.
The APPG stated that it was deeply concerned that gambling brands were benefiting from the high coverage of daytime shows to promote their services to wider UK audiences.
The letter highlighted the sponsorship of Australian soap-opera ‘Neighbours‘ on Channel 5 by GalaBingo.com, an online bingo property of Entain Plc.
The APPG warned broadcasters that daytime programming should not be used as a platform to promote gambling brands to the 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.”
The APPG stated that UK broadcasters carried a civic responsibility to protect their audiences from engaging with gambling content, especially during coronavirus lockdown.
Current UK advertising laws allow for the sponsorship of daytime shows by UK licensed bingo and casual games providers, with the category avoiding current watershed restrictions applied to online casino advertising.
During Summer 2019, UK bookmakers adopted a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on day time TV broadcasts as part of the Betting and Gaming Council’s new ‘code of conduct’ on advertising.
The APPG underlined that a blanket ban imposed on gambling sponsorships and advertising has been marked as a measure supported by members of the “experts by experience” group on minimising gambling social risks.
DCMS has formally stated that a review of UK advertising laws will be conducted as a key category of its review of the 2005 Gambling Act.