Increased Gambling Advertising Creating a Stir in the UK
The struggle against problem gambling in the U.K. has now spilled into the advertising market. More specifically, ongoing advertising and sponsorship deals within the English Premier League are being red flagged. Charity institutions and regulators are examining the harmful trend gambling advertising causes for sports viewers, with a specific focus aimed at underage individuals.
This stems from an increased concentration of pro-gambling ads displayed during aired sports events. The worry is that the trend has harmful effects on the more vulnerable viewers such events lure. It is also feared that continual airing of such ads could possibly normalize the idea of gambling for underage viewers. This development comes on the heels of the government's recent resolution on fixed-odds betting terminals.
The development of gambling problems has increased in relation to online casinos. The convenience and anywhere-access virtual gaming creates can take a mild condition and amp it up. This is why the U.K. has taken steps to curb it. Although gambling addiction is not a new epidemic, the spread of virtual gaming has allowed it to increase.
Online gambling is so effortless that the full impact of its consequences are not as strongly felt. It is akin to swiping a card. The ability to get online and gamble takes away any cautionary thought making a trek to a live casino creates. This is why anti-gambling agencies are working hard to offer support and resistance.
Advertisements and posts on social media by anti-gambling campaigns have already saturated the airwaves. The ads call for a stricter imposition of rules regulating gambling advertising. This is an effort to shield under-aged viewers from any harmful effects. It is also aimed at the more vulnerable viewers who can possibly develop life-altering habits.
The ads are designed to call the U.K. government into action. They seek restriction or a complete ban on all gambling advertisements. Anti-gambling institutions also believe that sponsorship agreements with online gambling companies and the English Premier League should be stopped. Despite the widening support for restriction, many warn against it.
According to the UK Gambling Commission cessation of advertising would be a very unwise decision. At present gambling companies supply a lot of revenue to the U.K. government. Records show that over 95% of gambling institutions faithfully pay taxes. The benefit of digitization is something that is widely felt.
As online gambling increases in popularity, many believe a complete ban would be bad for business. In addition, the use of regulations will not necessarily end any problems associated with the gambling industry. Eight of the current EPL sponsors are actually foreign institutions. These companies are based primarily in Asia and as such do not have to follow any restrictions.
In the meantime, the influx of ads is not necessarily enticing to everyone. Social media is rife with complaints from viewers who have grown tired of the numerous ads. For some it is even making sports viewing unbearable. Regulation may have to be stated, if not for anything more than to appease annoyed viewers and boost ratings.