Much of Ray Winstone’s output may unsuitable for broadcast before the watershed, but his “have a bang on that” campaign for Bet365 has escaped a new ban on pre-9pm gambling ads – introduced by the gambling industry itself.
Despite the sector announcing a self-imposed censure on “sign-up offers” on TV before the watershed, ads for bingo and sports betting (around televised sports) will be allowed, but they must carry a more prominent reference to Gamble Aware – as must all print advertising.
The moves have been made by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, following a review commissioned by the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) into all aspects of gambling advertising.
IGRG chairman Barry Hardy said: “In the hierarchy of regulation, the industry code remains the junior partner, but as a responsible industry it is right that we should continue to work proactively to identify measures that supplement what is required of us by our regulators.
“The gambling industry has a responsibility to ensure that it takes all reasonable steps to minimise the extent of problem gambling and to prevent underage gambling from taking place. Socially responsible advertising is essential if that is to be achieved.”
The move has been backed by the DCMS, although Tracey Crouch MP said more needed to be done: “I welcome the IGRG’s steps taken to strengthen the industry code and end sign-up offers on television before 9pm.
“However, I also want to see gambling operators, regulators and social media firms come together to examine if more needs to be done to ensure that marketing for gambling products is not reaching young people through social media.
“I will continue to look at the issue of gambling advertising regularly and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to protect people from being harmed by gambling.”
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