What Could a Ban on Gambling and Bingo TV Adverts Mean for the Industry?

Bingo has been enjoying a huge resurgence in recent times and the interest in the game has once more become part of everyday life, particularly for those who can now regularly enjoy playing the traditional game on their smartphone, tablet or at a desktop at home.

The game itself has become a major contributor to the online gaming market with it generating millions every year for a number of high profile online operators. Bingo is now offered by many major sites that already offer various gambling-based services, websites and apps that cater to casino fans and those who enjoy sports betting and so it has fast become the perfect game to accompany such online gaming options for players around the world.

But could this popular revival face new challenges with a ban on TV advertising potentially looming overhead?

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley recently warned that gambling companies could face a ban from daytime TV advertising. Bradley revealed that her two children, just 10 and 12 years of age, were able to recite whole bingo commercials off by heart as well as a number of other popular gambling advertisements that they had watched on television during the day. With such a startling revelation it could mean that companies could be banned from airing daytime ads in the future as part of a new Government review.

Currently there are nearly 1.5 million gambling adverts that air each year on UK television and these changes will be put in place in order to significantly change this and help protect children from being exposed to such services at peak time when they may likely be viewing these adverts.

It’s also a ban that would aim to help curb potential addiction to players who regularly enjoy online gaming. Whilst this may initially have a negative impact on both the online and offline bingo industry it’s not clear how much of an affect it may have on the revenue generated by UK bingo sites. It’s true that many may not miss anything at all as their daytime hours are spent at work but for stay at home mums, students, the unemployed and others it could be a wide reaching audience that will no longer be able to be targeted directly by online bingo operators should a pre-watershed ban actually occur.

Most of us have at some point seen those notable gambling and bingo ads in between our favourite daytime programs and they’re likely adverts that we’ve unconsciously seen on numerous occasions without even giving it too much thought.

The fact that young children who aren’t even legally allowed to gamble are being exposed to such bright, flashy, attention grabbing gambling ads is a cause for concern, especially for overwrought parents. At the moment adverts that promote gambling, the lottery, sportsbook betting and bingo are all exempt from pre-watershed advertising meaning that they are free to promote their services throughout the day before the typical 9pm cut-off. Currently things like movies and games rated 18 or above aren’t allowed to be shown before the watershed and it is becoming more apparent that gambling-based services should go the same route.

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