Whistle-To-Whistle Ban Decreased Children’s Exposure to Gambling Ads by 97%

September 2, 2020 John Isaac

Finally, the ban on betting TV advertisement is showing some results! The prohibition on betting ads in the UK during live, televised sports has drastically decreased children’s ability to see such advertisements. Introduced as the commercial ban on “whistle to whistle,” the move allegedly lowered children watching advertising by 97%. Enders Analysis recently conducted a report to demonstrate that children aged 4 to 17 had significantly decreased exposure to betting.

A Happy Family in front of the TV During a Soccer Game In August 2019, the Betting and Gaming Council enforced the ban, limiting betting advertising from the airing five minutes before a live sports event to five minutes before 9 pm.

During the limited time, the effect of the advertising ban was effectively excluded from sports betting on TV advertisements. The study found that the number of gambling ads watched by young people dropped by 70% over the entire length of live sports programming.

This Ban Led to Over 1 Billion View-Drop in the First Year

In the first five months after the changes were implemented, the whistle ban led to a 1.7 billion-view drop in these advertising. At the same time, the ban saw 109 million less gambling ads on four comparable weekends.

“The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment, and I’m very pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation,” – said Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council.

Dugher reflected on the improvements in advertising and expressed his satisfaction to see that the ban has primarily eliminated children’s ability to see betting advertisements when watching live televised sports. In order to ensure progress in the short-term and long term, the Council is committed to raising business quality and implementing reforms.

The Betting and Gaming Council was formed in 2019 and had been working hard since that time to improve game industry standards. In addition to the ban on whistles, at least 20% of TV and radio gambling advertisements contain healthy gambling messages.

Cooling down intervals are also set for gaming consoles and new ID and age verification procedures. The organization allows players to have deposit caps to protect them from gambling problems. Support for research, gambling education and care has been increased. 

BGC Banned Gambling Ads for Six Weeks During Lockdown

This is not the only ban on sports betting and gambling advertisement that has happened in the UK. Just a few months ago, the BGC suspended all gambling and sports betting ads for six weeks. The reason was that due to the lockdown, people were more prone to sports betting and gambling and the industry was blamed to abuse people. The money which originally should have been for TV and radio commercials were donated to charities or replaced with safer gambling messages.

The idea was to protect vulnerable people from gambling addiction as gambling indeed increased during lockdown due to the new coronavirus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March of this year. The casinos and sportsbooks were also closed in an attempt to prevent further spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

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