Ray Winstone’s ‘in-play now!’ Bet365 ads face ban


Ray Winstone’s Bet365 adverts urging people to gamble mid-game face being banned as part of a crackdown on commercials that target the vulnerable.  

Gambling ads that offer free bonuses and urge consumers to bet immediately during live events are to face tougher restrictions as part of regulator efforts to protect problem gamblers.

New measures due to take effect from April 2 restrict adverts that create an ‘inappropriate’ sense of urgency, by telling viewers to ‘bet now’ and repeatedly throughout a live event.

The ones Winstone, 60, star in appear at half-time, telling sports fans ‘it’s all about the next goal, the next goalscorer’, before calling on them to ‘bet in-play now’.

But they face being axed, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced.

Adverts must not play on individuals’ susceptibilities, such as financial concerns or self-esteem, or contain anything that might exploit vulnerable groups such as those with problem gambling issues, CAP says.

The standards also make it clear that ‘money back’ offers must be in cash and not bonuses, and ‘risk free’ ones must not result in any loss to the consumer.

The 2005 Gambling Act liberalised gambling advertising in the UK and the market has grown significantly since then, with new online platforms to advertise and for people to participate in gambling.

CAP said the evidence it considered while developing the new guidance suggested that advertising did not play a causal or even significant role in problem gambling or harm in general, and problem gambling rates had remained relatively stable during a period of considerable growth in advertising.

But it said even though the overall impact was small, evidence pointed to potential risk factors that might influence people to gamble irresponsibly.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will use the standards when considering future complaints about commercials.