EXCL In-game betting adverts could face government crackdown, says Sports Minister

Posted On: 
14th December 2017

Aggressive in-game betting adverts during high-profile sports events could be banned under plans being considered by the Government.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch
Credit: 
Mark Thomas

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said there are types of gambling advertising “that need to be dealt with”, citing in-play promotions that urge viewers to place bets during sports fixtures.

In an interview with the House magazine, the Tory MP said that people are getting to the “end of their tolerance levels” with the “pressurised” marketing schemes.

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“One of the reasons why we have good broadcasting deals is quite often because you can allow adverts within those," she said.

“That money goes back into whoever it is that sold the rights to that, who then pump that money back into the game both at the top level and at the bottom level. So, it’s a balance that has to be struck.

“But, that said, there are certain types of advertising that need to be dealt with. The in-play betting, the ‘bet now’ type stuff, which is a real pressurised, ‘oh my god I have to bet now’, that’s being really quite seriously looked at."

When asked whether she was suggesting the adverts could be banned, she replied: “It’s all self-regulatory anyway. So, there are aspects of it that the industry needs to look at. But people are getting to the end of their tolerance levels.”

In October, a long-awaited government review of the gambling industry promised new guidelines to prevent adverts from encouraging “impulsive or socially irresponsible” behaviour.

This was on top of an agreement with gambling operators to fund a £5-£7m responsible gambling advertising campaign, which will include TV adverts during live sporting events.

As part of the review, Ms Crouch announced a 12-week consultation on the maximum stakes allowed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. The consultation is due to end on 23 January 2018.