Gambling Bill threatened by concerns over surge in pre-watershed adverts seen by children - Advertising - Media - The Independent

Gambling Bill threatened by concerns over surge in pre-watershed adverts seen by children

 

Media Editor

Concerns that a generation of children are being schooled in gambling by an explosion in television betting advertisements before the 9pm watershed have led to plans in the House of Lords to derail the Government’s Gambling Bill.

Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, will face calls for an urgent review of the effects on children of a surge in daytime adverts for online bingo, saturation sports betting for matches shown before 9pm, and “free” betting on platforms including Facebook. The challenge will be made in an amendment to the Gambling Bill, which goes before the Upper House on Tuesday.

Research by the media regulator Ofcom in November found that gambling commercials on British television had increased by 600 per cent, from 234,000 to 1.4m a year, since deregulation of the sector in September 2007.

The 1.39m gambling ads generated 30.9 billion “impacts” or individual views. The Ofcom research found that a substantial number of adverts were shown before the watershed and that while adults saw an average of 630 ads, children aged between four and 15 watched an average of 211.

There are particular concerns in the House of Lords over the impact on children of the rise in advertising for Online Bingo. Because of its reputation as a traditional communal leisure activity, bingo was made exempt from restrictions imposed in the Gambling Act of 2005. Sports-related advertising was also permitted for screening before the watershed.

“Every sports ad break now starts and finishes with gambling adverts,” said Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, one of those calling for a review of the effects on children. “It has spread from football into other sports such as tennis. You cannot watch sports without being saturated with gambling adverts and if you have kids that is worrying.”

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch said that online bingo had “taken off” but had “none of the attributes” of the game played in community centres and village halls. “It is solitary, repetitive and addictive,” she said.

“The exemptions allowing adverts for bingo and sports betting, combined with the new social media opportunities, have become major loopholes which the on-line gambling companies all too readily exploit,” she said in a posting last night on the Labour Lords blog.

“Anyone switching on morning or afternoon TV, as I did over Christmas, will see a relentless bombardment of ads for online bingo presented as an entertaining pastime with no mention of the dangers of addiction. Often these programmes are watched by children without adults present, and we know from other studies how susceptible they can be to adverts.”

There are also concerns that children are being “groomed” into gambling by sites that offer free stakes. One online poker operator, PKR, invites users to “join the next generation” and “play for free or real money”. Social game site Zynga offers free poker chips via Facebook and apps. But Baroness Jones said young people were being offered “tempting free joining offers which turn out to be anything but free”.

The challenge on pre-watershed betting adverts is just one of a series of amendments planned by Peers to overhaul Britain’s gambling laws, which are widely regarded as not having kept pace with technology.

Conservative peer Lord Moynihan, the former Sports Minister, has tabled a separate amendment to introduce a criminal offence of match-fixing, punishable by a jail sentence of up to ten years, in response to growing fears over the corruption of sport by international betting syndicates. Pakistani test cricketers found to have been fixing matches by deliberately bowling no balls had to be prosecuted under fraud laws in 2011. Lord Astor, father-in-law of Prime Minister David Cameron, is supporting another amendment to the Gambling Bill which would subject bookmakers to a levy on online betting that could be worth £20m to British horseracing.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Director of Programming and Industry Engagement

£40k - £50k depending on experience: Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield Doc/Fest is...

Resourcer / Junior Recruiter

£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: Joining as a Resourcer / Juni...

Head of Design & UX / UX Architect

£55 - 70k: Guru Careers: Head of Design & UX / UX Architect is needed to join ...

Media and Entertainment Lawyer - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - A specialist opportunity with ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week