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Gambling companies agree to ban on betting ads on TV during live sport



Gambling companies have agreed to what is effectively a ban on betting advertisements during live sport. 

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has now confirmed the “whistle to whistle” ban, which will begin in 2019.

It has been decided no betting adverts will now be shown during live sport coverage before 9pm in the UK.

The new rules will apply from five minutes before the event begins until five minutes after it finishes and are expected to begin around July next year.

John Hagan, chair of IGRG, said: “We believe that this is itself a watershed moment as we strive to provide the ever, safer gambling environment which gambling consumers and the wider public expect.

“Today the gambling industry is responding positively to public concerns about the amount of gambling advertising on television before the watershed.”

The ban will not apply to horse racing and greyhound racing because of the commercial importance of the betting industry to their viability.

The gambling industry was under pressure to curb the amount of advertising in live sport as the number of problem gamblers continues to rise.

A Gambling Commission report released last month indicated that 55,000 children aged 11 to 16 could be officially categorised as problem gamblers and there were fears TV advertising was fuelling the increase.

Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, said the ban is a “welcome move”. He added: “I am pleased that the sector is stepping up and responding to public concerns.

“It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling-related harm. Companies must be socially responsible.”

The changes could lead to a sustained push to limit betting advertisements in other areas of sport including on shirts and billboards.

Currently 60% of Premier League and Championship football clubs have betting companies as shirt sponsors.

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