If you’ve ever sat on the couch and watched daytime television then you’ve probably seen more than your fair share of bingo ads. These are kind of just part of British culture and we don’t even really think about seeing them anymore. There is a push to get these adverts off the telly, let’s find out why.
What’s the Big Deal?
For many people gambling adverts are no big deal but for some they can pose a bit of an issue. If you suffer from a problem gambling addiction then you might find that an advert might just trigger that instinct again.
This ties in with research that the number of those with a problem in the UK has actually doubled in the last 3 years. Legislators are questioning if this means that these ads should be reduced or stopped altogether.
Addictions like these actually cost the government a lot of money, as they treat addiction and provide financial support in some cases. With almost 1% of the population dealing with problem gambling, this can be quite the expense. Of course, they want to continue to supply these services but if it helps someone to recover then they’d rather get them out of the public eye.
Why is Bingo Special?
You might be wondering why this applies to bingo adverts in particular, that’s because these aren’t relegated until after the watershed. Casino ads must wait until after 9pm and there are rules that apply to sports betting ads too. That’s why we see more of these advertisements for bingo during the day.
The gambling addiction problem is rising faster in young people than any other demographic, ministers say that this could be because of exposure to bingo ads. Children and teenagers may see these adverts on a break from daytime television, when they shouldn’t really be targeted towards them.
The Culture Secretary for the UK has stated that her children can recite parts of gambling advertisements, which she finds deeply troubling. There are now more than 1.4 million gambling advertisements on television, a staggering rise from the 90,000 in 2005. Their prolific nature is prompting many to wonder if they should be allowed to operate during the day.
The Other Side
Of course this can all seem rather grim and depressing but there is another side to the argument. Many are calling on the parents to police what their children are watching, not the government. If children can recite advertisements then it may be the case that they’re simply watching too much television.
It would also be difficult to implement such a ban, as some bingo operators are signed into deals with television shows that they sponsor. This would cost the government more money, as they would need to set out who is liable for the lost revenue and what the responsibilities of either party are.
The amount that gambling costs the UK government is also being reduced thanks to new takes. Point of Consumption and the upcoming Free Bets taxes would have them making more money from these bingo sites. Whether this would fully offset what they spend on problem gambling support is unclear, but it’s something to consider.
Whether this ban is enforced depends on the government, so we’ll need to wait to see what they decide. It shouldn’t affect players too much but we might see more internet advertising as a result.