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Activists call for UK gambling ad ban and ‘affordability’ checks

Anti-gambling activists in the UK are calling for a complete ban on gambling advertisements and a new series of affordability checks on UK players. If enacted into law, these new restrictions would be enforced a newly created ombudsman whose sole responsibility would be to keep gambling operators in check.

The new ideas for keeping problem gambling in check are outlined in a new report from the Centre for Social Justice titled, Not a Game: A Call for Effective from the Harms of Gambling that was released earlier this month. In the report, the group calls for a complete ban on UK gambling advertising saying, ““The evidence shows the negative impact of gambling advertising on individuals, with increased spending, greater likelihood of betting, and normalisation of gambling. Given that the point of advertising is to encourage people to gamble, there is a clear case for ending all gambling advertising, marketing and inducements and adopting more stringent restrictions.”

In the report, the group also suggests that affordability checks be carried out by the UK Gambling Commission, rather than by a third-party as is the practice today. They describe the current system of checks to be hopelessly balanced.

The authors of the report are also calling on the UK Government to spend a lot more time and money researching problem gambling. They go on to say that almost nothing is really known about problem gambling in the UK due to lack of research.

How influential the report is going to be remains to be seen, but UK lawmakers have been cracking down on gambling ads for several years now and the thought of a blanket ban is not unthinkable.