British MPs urge Premier League to cut volume of gambling adverts amid concerns over children’s exposure

British Members of Parliament have issued a call for the Premier League and other overseeing entities to curtail the prominence of gambling advertisements within football stadiums. This plea comes in the wake of a study revealing a staggering count of nearly 7,000 visible gambling messages during six league matches.

The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee presented its findings in a report on gambling regulation, advocating for a reduction in these advertisements to minimize the exposure of children to gambling marketing. The report concluded the government should take a more precautionary approach to advertising than what was proposed in the gambling White Paper.

Committee Chair Caroline Dinenage emphasized the need for a more vigilant approach toward shielding children and individuals grappling with gambling problems from what often feels like an inundation of betting-related branding during football and other sporting events.

“While gambling regulation should not overly impinge on the freedom to enjoy what is a problem-free pastime for the majority, more should be done to shield both children and people who have experienced problem gambling from what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events,” Dinenage said.

Dinenage, who represents Gosport, highlighted the necessity for the government to surpass the propositions outlined in the White Paper on gambling regulation, stressing the importance of collaborative efforts with sports governing bodies to diminish the overwhelming volume of betting adverts bombarding spectators.

A recent study spotlighted that front-of-shirt gambling branding accounted for 7% of all gambling branding visible across ten broadcast matches surveyed. While acknowledging the reduction in gambling sponsorship on Premier League players’ shirts, the committee underscored that this decline did not translate to a decrease in the overall quantity of adverts encountered during a game.

The report endorsed several aspects of the gambling White Paper, notably supporting the establishment of financial risk checks by gambling operators on customer accounts that exhibit substantial losses within specific timeframes. 

Additionally, the committee expressed favor toward the government’s intentions to introduce enhanced online protections for young adults, proposing lower stake limits and thresholds for triggering financial risk assessments.

In a recent announcement, the British government disclosed contemplations regarding the implementation of a statutory levy on gambling operators. This levy would serve as a funding mechanism for gambling addiction research, prevention, and treatment—a measure wholeheartedly backed by the committee in their report.