BGC praises ‘whistle to whistle’ impact as football season resumes

As the English football season gets underway tonight, TV betting adverts will not be shown during live sport before the 9pm watershed.

The resumption of the Premier League and English Football League will see hundreds of matches shown live on Sky TV and BT Sport. But due to the ‘whistle to whistle ban’, introduced by the Betting and Gaming Council in 2019, adverts will not be shown during live sport prior to the watershed.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “As a football fan, I can’t wait for the new season in England to start. But with matches still being played behind closed doors because of Covid-19, supporters will have no choice but to watch their favourites on TV.

“I’m therefore delighted by the success of the whistle to whistle ban in virtually eliminating the ability of young people to see betting adverts on TV during commercial breaks. The BGC was set up to improve standards in our industry, and this is a clear example of that commitment.”

A study by Enders Analysis found that during the whistle to whistle period, the number of betting ads seen by children during commercial breaks fell by 97%.

The research also found that the whistle to whistle ban contributed to a reduction of 1.7 billion views of betting ads during the first five months it was in operation. Meanwhile, there were 109 million fewer gambling ads viewed across four comparative weekends as a result of the ban.

Total betting advertising exposure during live sport before 9pm also declined by 78%. In addition, the research found that there was no apparent displacement of gambling advertising to other evening sports programmes, with the number of post-watershed ads also down by 28%.

From 1 October, new measures are being introduced to further prevent under-18s from seeing betting ads online. Dugher urged the government to ‘crack down’ on those operators which are in breach of such regulations.

He added: “We urge the Government to work with us to crack down on black market operators who have no interest in safer gambling or protecting their customers and do not work to the same responsible standards as BGC members.

“The forthcoming Gambling Review will also provide further opportunities to improve standards and we look forward to working with the Government on this.”

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