APPG Calls on BGC to Expand Suspension of Gaming Advertising During Lockdown

  • APPG chair Carolyn Harris sent a letter to BGC chair Brigid Simmonds
  • Acknowledges steps the BGC has taken to stop radio and television advertising during lockdown
  • However, the letter also asks a lot of hard-hitting questions
  • Harris asked if all other forms of gambling advertising would also be restricted
signature being written
Carolyn Harris MP has written a letter to the Betting and Gaming Council calling for further measures to protect vulnerable gamblers during the lockdown. [Image:]

Letter calls for further measures

Carolyn Harris MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, wants the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to shut down all forms of gaming advertising for the foreseeable future. 

Her request comes after BGC members agreed to stop all gaming-related radio and television advertising in the United Kingdom during the lockdown. Harris sent a letter to Brigid Simmons, chair of the BGC. 

Harris did say that the move to stop some forms of advertising was “welcome news” and that the APPG was glad to see the industry is taking steps to protect vulnerable gamblers during these uncertain times. 

However, she also called on the BGC to take further steps that would

be in the public interest and is urgently needed to assess the impact this announcement will have.”

You can read the letter in its entirety here:

Key points highlighted by the APPG

The APPG is calling for data on online gambling activity since the lockdown began to be compared to figures for the same period last year, covering the same game types. 

Harris also wants an explanation as to why the BGC advertising restrictions are only being implemented now rather than a month ago when concerns were initially raised. She has also asked the BGC if these advertising restrictions will be made permanent when the lockdown is lifted. 

Some significant requests

The APPG is also enquiring as to whether or not affiliate marketing and social media advertising restrictions will be coming into place. Harris questioned why the BGC decided to replace most advertising with safer gambling messages as opposed to completely removing all forms of advertising. 

A limit on how much players can deposit during the lockdown and the introduction of a £2 ($2.52) spin limit on slots was also suggested. Some of the more extreme proposals include the closure of VIP accounts, stopping all forms of gaming advertising, and banning sign up bonuses.

Turbulent times for the industry

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, gambling companies have been scrambling to try and deal with the situation. Retail betting shops across the UK have been closed, leading to staff being furloughed. Sportsbooks are suffering significantly due to the lack of sporting events currently. 

Many leading UK gambling operators have issued profit warnings and cut dividends as a result of the situation. With no clear end in sight, the BGC has said it will continue working with the industry to try and protect gamblers as much as possible. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *