Gambling adverts face daytime ban in UK

7 October 2016

The UK government is said to be considering introducing a law that could ban gambling operators from advertising during the day.

According to a report in the Times newspaper, the government is due to review the UK gambling industry, with a proposed ban on TV adverts before 9pm one of the topics up for discussion.

Current regulations in the UK permit gaming brands to advertise before the 9pm watershed if they are a bingo operator or the adverts appear during commercial breaks in a live sport event.

The Times quoted a senior minister close to the talks as saying that current rules allow operators to “basically be advertising to children all weekend”, but added that the gambling industry’s “luck has run out”.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed it was assessing current controls.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: “We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing gambling controls and will take further action if necessary.”

Last month, the Daily Mail newspaper said that the DCMS was due to review the situation regarding fixed-odds betting terminals, which have attracted widespread criticism in the UK, although this is now expected to also look at gambling advertising.

The Times added that the planned review is due to begin in a “matter of weeks”.

A note issued by Barclays analysts suggested any such ban would be impactful on the sector, although less established operators would be more affected than the industry's giants.

The note read: "Marketing to Net Sales ratios for the sector remains high (c.25%) and so a ban of this type would have an impact on all companies in the sector. That said, we believe that companies like William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfair, with well known brands and well invested websites/apps, would suffer less than smaller, less well known operators who are fighting for share of voice. As such, we anticipate that the larger brands would continue to take share in an already consolidating sector."

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