Three-quarters of Britons believe there are too many gambling ads

Responsible Gambling

New research from GambleAware, the leading charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harms prevention and treatment services in Great Britain, has revealed concerns about gambling advertising from the public and football fans.  

Research from the Football Supporters Association has found that three quarters of football fans (73%) are concerned about the amount of gambling advertising and sponsorship around football and two thirds (66%) believe that gambling sponsorship in football should be banned.  

Further research released by GambleAware today has also revealed the majority of the public are unhappy with the level of gambling advertising in the media, with two in three (67%) saying they feel there is too much gambling advertising, and a similar number (66%) concerned about the impact the advertising has on children.

Research conducted for the 2022 World Cup, the last major men’s football tournament before this year, also found that two in three (64%) football fans said they believe there are too many gambling advertisements in football and 61% said they feel there are too many gambling ads during international sports tournaments.  

The charity also warns that the high level of gambling advertising seen around major sporting tournaments this summer may exacerbate gambling harms among those already experiencing gambling problems.  Other figures in today’s research show those experiencing harm from gambling are 40 times more likely to spend more money and time gambling as a result of seeing gambling ads, compared to those who gamble without any problems.

GambleAware’s new report, ‘Gambling marketing in Great Britain: What needs to change and why,’ also includes recommendations for new regulations around gambling advertising:

  • A ban on gambling marketing at sports events including the removal of sponsorships from sports clothing, merchandise, and wider stadium areas.
  • A pre-watershed ban on all broadcast gambling advertising on TV, Video On Demand, and radio, including broadcast sponsorships.
  • For all gambling marketing to include independent evidence-led health warnings with effective signposting to support. 

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive, GambleAware, said: “Millions of people across the country have been coming together this summer, excited to watch the Euros. However, our research shows that most of them feel there is too much gambling advertising in the media and around football.  

“Exposure to gambling advertising normalises gambling, and makes it seem like just “harmless fun” without showing the risks of gambling addiction and harm. This is why we have published our new report, to call on the next government to do more to regulate gambling advertising, particularly around sport where children and young people can see it.

David Rose, Deputy Chief Executive, The Footballer Supporters’ Association said: “Our survey data shows a large majority of fans are concerned about the prevalence of gambling advertising around football, whether that’s shirt sponsors, pitchside hoardings or on TV coverage. Our partnership with GambleAware helps us to highlight those concerns, and allows us to show supporters where they can get help if they feel like their gambling has become a problem.”

Craig, who experienced gambling harms for a number of years, said: “As someone who has experienced gambling harm, watching football can be difficult as it has often been really intertwined with my gambling. There is lots of shirt sponsorship and gambling signs on pitch side advertising in the stadiums, which you can clearly see when watching on TV at home. Much more needs to be done to help protect people from experiencing the same problems I did, and more regulation on gambling advertising in sport is urgently needed.”

Michelle, whose son has experienced harm from gambling said: “Having seen how gambling has affected my son over the years, I know first-hand the serious impact it can have on individuals and families alike. Sporting events and international tournaments should be a time of enjoyment, but instead people are being bombarded by gambling ads that can cause serious harm. It’s time more is done to limit gambling advertising to protect people – especially children and young people – from gambling harm.”