Gambling companies agree not to run adverts during live sports broadcasts

The “whistle-to-whistle” ban applies to all sports apart from horse racing

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 11: Harry Kane of England during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

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British gambling companies have agreed not to stop adverts during live sports broadcasts.

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Ladbrokes, Bet365, and Paddy Power are all part of The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which has made a voluntary deal to stop adverts in a “whistle-to-whistle” ban following political pressure.

During the World Cup, over 90 minutes of gambling adverts were shown and campaigners argue that this normalises betting and helps fuel under-age gambling.

The decision follows extensive talks between companies also including SkyBet, Betfred, Betfair, Stan James, Gala Coral and William Hill.

No adverts will be broadcast for a defined period before and after a game is broadcast and, significantly, the ban applies to any game that starts prior to the 9pm watershed but ends after that time.

Given the commercial importance of gambling to horse racing, it is the only sport that will be exempt from the restrictions.

Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Tom Watson MP, said he was “delighted” by the move as the number of adverts during live sports had “clearly reached crisis levels”.

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He told the BBC: “There was clear public support for these restrictions and I’m glad that the Remote Gambling Association has taken its responsibilities seriously and listened.”