Gambling Ads on UK TV Have Risen 1,443% Since 2005

Since the 2005 Gambling Act that liberalized gambling advertisements on television the number of ads have skyrocketed

According to statistics gathered by Ofcom, since the passage of the 2005 Gambling Act, television-gambling advertisements have grown by 1,443 percent. The eight-year-old law allowed gambling operators to advertise widely on TV, for the first time, and sponsor sporting events. In 2005, there were approximately 90,000 but this figure has grown to over 1.38 million by 2012, which was an increase of 14-fold.

Last year, over one third of the advertisements were for bingo at 38.3 percent, 29.6 percent were for online casino and poker, while lottery and scratch card ads accounted for 25.6 percent of total television gambling advertisement. Ofcom claims there are some concerns over children being exposed to the advertisements, with 1.8 billion total views by adolescents in 2012, compared to only to 0.5 billion in 2005.

An Ofcom representative said, “The research identifies that the volume of gambling adverts on television has increased since the market was liberalized in 2007 when the Gambling Act came into force. While there are restrictions in place on gambling advertising, the protection of children is a primary concern for Ofcom. Therefore, we will continue to monitor the market to ensure that younger viewers are protected.”

Until September 2007, when a change in the law made it more liberal, television-gambling ads were restricted to bingo halls, football pools and the national lottery. Researchers say that after the change the number of ads rose to over half-a-million in 2008. Gambling advertisements on television in 2012 accounted for 3.2 percent of ads viewed by adults, according to analysts.


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