Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 91087 on Football: Gambling, if he will make an assessment of (a) the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to place the industry whistle to whistle ban on gambling on a statutory basis and (b) the effect of gambling advertising on children.
The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age, and further details will be announced in due course.
As set out in the answer to Question 91087, in August 2019 the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) Code for Socially Responsible Advertising was amended to ban betting adverts on TV during live sport before the 9pm watershed. Industry figures indicate that exposure to sports gambling advertising during the times covered by the whistle-to-whistle ban has fallen by 96%. In addition, data published by the Advertising Standards Authority looking at children’s exposure to gambling advertising in 2019 – including the first 6 months of the whistle to whistle ban – shows that children’s exposure to sports betting advertising on TV has fallen to 0.3 per week. The Gambling Commission’s code of practice for operators already requires adherence to the IGRG code, and failure to do so can be used as evidence in any compliance or enforcement activity that the Commission undertakes.
As outlined in the answer to Question 73907, the Government assessed the evidence on advertising in its Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, the full response to which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-for-changes-to-gaming-machines-and-social-responsibility-measures. Since then, in March this year, the charity GambleAware has published the final report of a major piece of research into the effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young and vulnerable people. That study found that exposure to advertising was associated with an openness to gamble in the future amongst children and young people aged 11-24 who did not currently gamble. It also found that there were other factors that correlated more closely with current gambling behaviour amongst those groups including peer and parental gambling. It did not suggest a causal link between exposure to gambling advertising and problem gambling in later life.