The Labour Party has proposed a number of manifesto policies on gambling. Responding to the proposals, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association commented:
“The Gambling Commission’s findings in late 2017 drew a clear line with regards gambling advertising after a thorough review of what is undoubtedly an important and complex area. The proposed ‘Whistle To Whistle’ ban goes against the findings and would have a damaging economic effect on our UK commercial media landscape, as well as make watching live sport more expensive and less accessible for the UK public.
“Our industry’s self-regulatory framework, in partnership with the Gambling Commission, ensures businesses adhere to the standards we aspire to in society. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code is clear that marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, particularly regarding the need to protect young or vulnerable people. Irresponsible or illegal practices are dealt with by the regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority, if companies are found to have breached rules.
“It is important also to note advertising’s role in driving positive behaviour change to address gambling-related problems. The upcoming campaign about the risks of problem gambling, funded by industry and run by Gamble Aware, is a good example of this in action.
“Our industry recognises the gambling sector is one which requires close, consistent and effective monitoring, as well as a concerted effort through public education campaigns, to ensure a responsible role in society. Ultimately, gambling operators should be allowed, within a framework of responsibility, to advertise freely – the funding from these businesses contributes greatly to the high quality sports programming enjoyed by millions of viewers across the UK.”