Sky Cut Back On Gambling Advertising

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Broadcaster Sky has announced that it will introduce new rules on gambling advertisements during Premier League games next season.

Under the new policy, there will be a maximum of one gambling advertisement permitted during each commercial break. Problem gamblers will also have the option to avoid seeing any gambling ads, as the company introduces a range of new tools for viewers.

The AdSmart technology being developed by Sky will enable people to block gambling advertisements completely whenever they watch programming through Sky and Virgin Media platforms. The new tools will be introduced in June 2020 and will cover 140 channels, including Sky Sports, accessed through AdSmart enabled platforms, and will make it easier for those who have a gambling problem to limit their exposure to betting marketing.

Huge increase

The UK legalised gambling advertising on both TV and radio ten years ago, and although there is a 9pm watershed, this does not apply during live sports broadcasts. As a result, there has been a huge increase in gambling advertisements, which reached a peak during the summer’s World Cup, when a BBC report revealed that 95 percent of all ad breaks included at least one gambling promotion.

Sky’s announcement is partly a reaction to the backlash against gambling advertisements and some of the practices of the gambling industry, which has led to the government dramatically reducing the maximum stake of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, and to calls for a ban on all gambling advertising on television before 9 pm, with many critics, including the opposition Labour Party, arguing that there should be no gambling advertising on television during live sport.

A recent report by the Gambling Commission found that the number of problem gamblers has increased by a third in three years, while more than two million people in the UK are considered to be either problem gamblers or at risk of developing gambling addiction. 

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