Advertising Association responds to APPG’s calls for UK gambling ad ban

The Advertising Association (AA) has responded to calls for a total ban on gambling advertising by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

An APPG report is expected to be released next week, which is a year-long culmination of research looking into the impact of gambling on British society. 

Their findings will call for changes to the 2005 Gambling Act, which is to be reviewed by the current government. 

But not everybody is on board with their suggestions, with the AA believing that a total ban is not necessary. 

What does the APPG want banned? 

As reported by the Guardian this week, some of the APPG’s recommendations will include the following. 

  • A ban on gambling advertising, both in relation to TV and online. 
  • An end to VIP schemes and inducements to bet. 
  • A £2 stake limit on online slot machines. 
  • Independent affordability checks. 
  • Controls on gambling game design. 
  • A new ombudsman on disputes. 

The group also wants gambling sponsorships in football to be banned, as well as stadium deals. 

Labour MP Carolyn Harris leads the APPG, alongside Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith and Ronnie Cowan of the Scottish National Party (SNP). She had the following to say. 

“They [gambling firms] have shown time and again that they will not effectively self-regulate. Urgent change is needed to stop this industry riding roughshod over people’s lives.” 

Advertising Association rejects a complete ban on gambling advertising 

On Tuesday, the AA responded to the APPG’s viewpoints. Group Chief Executive Stephen Woodford had the following to say. 

“We believe a total ban is not necessary – such action has wide implications, particularly for the support of sports across media channels, something enjoyed by millions of people right across the UK.”

Woodford also argued that existing regulations are regularly reviewed, while he feels that the AA is doing what is necessary to support the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). On top of this, he also reiterated the importance of operators complying to gambling regulations. 

“The codes are under regular and rigorous review in line with the evidence. As new evidence emerges, the ASA and Gambling Commission consider this and amend the rules if they believe the evidence supports change.

“We ask all gambling operators and their agencies to continue to adhere to the strict standards set by the ASA and the Gambling Commission. These rules clearly require gambling operators to be socially responsible and to protect the vulnerable, as well as under [18 years old].”