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Ofcom revealed a soar in UK television gambling adverts

Research from UK media regulator Ofcom has revealed that the number of gambling adverts on television has increased sixfold to 1.4 million since the market was liberalised in 2007.

According to the Financial Times newspaper, the Ofcom report showed that gambling accounted for 4.1% of all advertising spots on commercial television during 2012, up from 0.7% in 2006.

The figure places gambling ahead of cars, travel and transport in terms of television advertising in the UK.

Bingo proved to be the most advertised form of gambling, accounting for 532,000 of the total 1.4 million television adverts broadcast in 2012.

A total of 411,000 adverts were for online casino and poker services, 355,000 were for lotteries and scratch cards, while 91,000 adverts were broadcast in reference to sportsbetting.

Gambling adverts have been permitted in UK television ever since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in September 2007.

Prior to the Act, the only television gambling advertising permitted was for land-based bingo premises, football pools and the UK National Lottery.

Gambling in the UK has drawn criticism during the last year, the latest of which came earlier this week from Labour’s shadow minister for sport, Clive Efford.

He called on the UK Government to conduct a review into the prevalence of gambling advertising and the impact it could have on children.

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