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Betting adverts to be banned 'whistle-to-whistle' during live sports broadcasts in the UK

Between 28,000 and 40,000 people in Ireland suffer from a gambling disorder.

Political pressure has mounted recently regarding the amount of betting advertising on TV.
Political pressure has mounted recently regarding the amount of betting advertising on TV.

THREE OF THE LARGEST betting companies in the UK have agreed to a new deal which will see gambling advertising prohibited “whistle-to-whistle” during live sports broadcasts.

Following recent political pressure, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which includes Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Bet365 has agreed to a proposition which will cease betting ads during broadcast sports events.

The BBC reports the agreement will ensure no advertisements will be shown for a defined period before and after a game is broadcast.

The deal comes after talks between firms which also included SkyBet, Betfred, Betfair, Stan James, Gala Coral and William Hill.

“Gambling firms banning advertising on TV during live sport is a welcome move and I am pleased that the sector is stepping up and responding to public concerns,” said Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright.

Liverpool Media Day - Anfield Almost 60 per cent of football teams in England's top two divisions have betting companies as sponsors. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

“It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling related harm. Companies must be socially responsible.”

Ireland has the third highest gambling losses per adult in the world, according to Problem Gambling, with approximately 28,000-40,000 problem gamblers in this country alone.

A report by Gamble Aware in 2011 stated that less than one per cent of people who would benefit from problem gambling treatment actually receive it, with US figures outlining that ​one in five problem gamblers attempt suicide — a number more than double that of other addictions.

Horse racing will be exempt from the new agreement due to “the commercial importance of gambling on its viability”, with final ratification required from the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) before the ban comes into force.

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Aaron Gallagher

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