Gambling accounted for just 2.2% of the average 141.9 adverts seen by children each week in 2018 according to new figures published by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which confirmed that children’s exposure to gambling adverts, relative to adults, has fallen from 38.6% in 2008 right down to 20.4% last year.
The new report by the UK’s independent advertising regulator followed figures covering the exposure of children to age-restricted TV adverts for alcohol, gambling and food and soft drink products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).
The number of gambling adverts seen by children on TV, it found, has fallen to 3.2 per week in 2018 from a peak of 4.4 in 2013.
This peak of 4.4 per week in 2013 actually represented a smaller percentage of total adverts seen by children in that year, accounting for 1.9% of the 229.3, although this was the highest total number recorded across the 10-year period.
In terms of total exposure, the 4.4 adverts per week in 2013 equated to approximately 108.9 seconds, down to just 7.7 seconds (from 3.2 adverts) in 2018.
It should be noted that in 2008, the first full year in which adverts for gaming and betting were allowed on TV, children saw just 2.2 per week (1.0% of 219.5) lasting 48 seconds. The majority of the adverts seen by children since 2011 are for bingo, lotteries and scratchcards.
The advertising rules limit children’s exposure through the ban on gambling adverts in and around children’s programmes and programmes of particular appeal to under-18s.
The industry-wide voluntary ‘whistle-to-whistle’ advertising ban came into force on 1 August 2019, which means there should be no TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sport broadcasts – from five minutes before the event begins to five minutes after it finishes.