U.K. Trade Group Supports Ad Limits, Payment Options

In the year since a whistle-to-whistle ban on TV gambling ads, the number of those ads seen by children has fallen 97 percent, drawing praise from the Betting and Gaming Council. The trade group also has asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak to add acceptable payment methods for some casino players.

U.K. Trade Group Supports Ad Limits, Payment Options

Research has shown that a whistle-to-whistle ban on TV gambling ads seen by children in the U.K. reduced that exposure by 97 percent since its introduction in 2019. The prohibition ran from five minutes before a sporting event to five minutes after. The number of gambling ads viewed by children fell by 70 percent over the full scope of live sporting events, according to SBC News.

“The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment to improve standards,” said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), an industry trade group. “I am determined that the BGC will lead a race to the top in terms of industry standards and we want to drive more changes in the future.”

The BGC also urged U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect high-end casinos by modernizing payment regulations that require high-roller players visiting the U.K. to make payments by check.

Such a rule would permit these gamblers to settle payment in one transaction at the end of their trip, according to Business Insider.

The current process is no longer fit for the 21st century customer or the global banking environment, Dugher said.

The U.K. has eight high-end casinos, all in London. These properties contribute £150 million ($196.7 million) a year in taxes in addition to generating £188 million in GDP.

“The government is keen to promote Global Britain, so it’s vital nothing is done which makes it harder to attract foreign visitors to the country,” Dugher said.

Dugher also praised Scotland for re-opening its casinos August 24, along with bingo halls, arcades and pool halls with strict guidelines and safety measures.

Casinos in England re-opened August 15. The U.K. hosts 125 casinos which employs 14,000 people and contribute £300 million a year in taxes.

“The prevalence of the virus continues to be at low levels in Scotland, but we are also recording more positive cases than three weeks ago,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. “I hope the re-opening of some services will be welcomed because we know it is essential to reduce the economic harm this virus is doing.”

Local officials can force closure of specific premises that are breaching guidelines thus increasing the risk of Covid-19. Scotland also proposes to give police authority to break up and disperse large indoor gatherings.

“This is welcome news and like their colleagues in England, Scottish casinos have gone above and beyond what was required of them to ensure they comply with all of the government’s guidelines,” Dugher said.