Date: 12.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

GambleAware Pushes for Stricter Gambling Ad Regulations Ahead of Euro 2024

As the Euro 2024 football tournament approaches, UK gambling charity GambleAware has intensified its call for stricter regulations on gambling advertisements, proposing health warnings akin to those found on cigarette packs. The charity warns that the surge in betting ads during such high-profile events could exacerbate issues for those trying to curb their gambling habits.

Growing Concerns Over Gambling Ads

Criticism is mounting against the current industry-endorsed slogan “Take Time To Think,” with GambleAware branding it as insufficient. According to the charity, prolonged exposure to gambling ads, especially during high-profile sports events, poses a significant challenge for individuals battling gambling addiction.

GambleAware insists that new guidelines are necessary to combat the normalization of gambling. Their proposed warnings, including “Gambling can be addictive” and “Gambling comes at a cost,” aim to provide clearer information to consumers about the risks associated with gambling.

Industry Conflict and Public Perception

The charity’s stance has sparked tensions with industry operators, notably the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC), which developed the current slogan. Despite criticism, the BGC defends its messaging strategy, emphasizing that “Take Time To Think” was crafted after extensive consultation to promote responsible betting.

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by GambleAware revealed that over half of those with gambling problems found it hard to reduce their gambling after seeing ads. Moreover, 55% felt overwhelmed by the prevalence of such advertisements.

Alexia Clifford, chief communications officer at GambleAware, stresses the need for more stringent regulations: “We know that gambling advertising can contribute to the normalization of gambling as just a bit of ‘harmless fun’. We want to see stronger restrictions on gambling advertising to protect people from harm.”

Calls for Comprehensive Regulation

GambleAware aims to ensure that individuals are aware of the risks and where to seek help if needed. The charity’s proposal comes amidst discussions about reforming gambling regulations, including the potential introduction of a statutory levy to fund research, education, and treatment.

The future of such proposals remains uncertain, especially with the impending summer election and the Conservative government’s proposal for a statutory levy. Labour’s stance on this issue is yet to be confirmed.

The BGC, commenting on the matter, reiterated their commitment to responsible betting messaging and expressed readiness to engage with any future government on this matter.