Members of the Coalition Against Gambling Ads (CAGA) a not-for-profit campaign seeking to end all advertising and sponsorships of gambling brands, will embark on its ‘Park the Bus’ tour of Britain this September.
The five-day tour, which will commence on Monday 6 September, aims to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of normalising gambling adverts on UK consumers and young children.
CAGA’s tour will feature a double-decker bus wrapped in ‘impactful campaign branding’ – with the vehicle designated to make stops at key destination points such as Wembley, Holyrood, Senedd and Manchester’s Media City.
Member organisations supporting CAGA’s cause will aim to speak to policy stakeholders, MPs, governing bodies and the general public on why a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertising should be supported ahead of the government’s critical judgement reforming the UK’s gambling laws.
CAGA’s tour will be led by the members of Clean Up Gambling, The Big Step Charity and Gambling with Lives.
Potential reform of gambling advertising and sponsorship laws, pledged by DCMS, is recognised as the most divisive issue of the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
The call for a sponsorship and advertising blackout has been led by MPs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm (GRH APPG) – who accused the sector of using sponsorships as a cross-sell mechanism designed to transfer players towards higher risk products.
Despite backlash, the gambling sector has secured prominent support from sports governing bodies such as the English Football League (EFL), whose chairman Rick Parry highlighted betting’s £40 million per season contribution to lower league clubs.
Last week, DCMS minister John Whittingdale defended the department’s stance on its duties revising advertising laws, which had been questioned by the GRH APPG.
Whittingdale maintained that the department would continue to pursue an ‘evidence-led approach’ in how it forms its judgement on the matter, as it moves forward with a review of over 16,000 responses to its consultation of the Gambling Act.