A UK Member of Parliament has called on the local broadcaster for the upcoming postponed European Football Championship 2020 to suspend all gambling adverts.
Ronnie Cowan, who is a prominent campaigner for safe gambling, has called for ITV to suspend adverts for the duration of the tournament, to create a scenario where gambling is “tolerated, not promoted”.
“The European Championships should be about the beautiful game but it will be impossible to watch without exposure to gambling ads,” he commented.
“This type of advertising can have a devastating effect on young people and the vulnerable”, he added. As such, he expects the greater exposure to gambling adverts that the football festival will bring will see new victims suffer.
Mr Cowan, who is a Scottish Nationalist Party member, insisted that children are exposed to the adverts “daily” during competitions and said that “the normalisation of gambling is gaining pace”.
ITV has previously addressed concerns about the impact of gambling advertising during the competition, saying: “The amount of gambling advertising around the live broadcast of football matches at the Euros will be significantly reduced compared to the 2018 World Cup”.
“The majority of matches ITV plans to broadcast live will have no gambling ads under the “whistle to whistle” ban and the remainder, which all have an 8pm kick-off, will have no gambling ads in the ad breaks before kick-off and before 9pm”.
Betting stakeholders in the lucrative UK market have, however, insisted that it is safe in the vast majority of cases.
For example, the Betting and Gaming Council cites official UK Government statistics that suggest the rate of problem gambling is 0.5 per cent.
However, it acknowledges that “one problem gambler is one too many” and says it will continue its work to improve standards and promote safe gambling.
ITV’s commentary and pundit team for Euro 2020
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