Study Shows “Whistle to Whistle” Ad Ban Has Cut UK Children’s Exposure to Betting Ads by 97%

  • A study shows a 97% decrease in betting advertisement views by children ages 4-17
  • A 1.7 billion-view reduction was been seen during the first five months of advertising changes
  • The advertising ban has virtually eliminated sports betting ads from the restricted time frame  
child watching TV
A study has shown that the UK’s new “whistle to whistle” sports betting ad ban has reducedw children’s betting advertising viewing by 97%. [Image:]

Betting ad views plummet

A betting advertising ban in the UK during live, televised sports has significantly reduced the ability for children to see such promotions. Known as the “whistle to whistle” ad ban, the change has reportedly cut down on children viewing betting commercials by 97%. Enders Analysis recently completed a study of the measure, showing the dramatic reduction in exposure among kids ages 4 to 17.

The Betting and Gaming Council introduced the ban in August 2019, restricting betting advertisements from airing five minutes before a live sporting event until five minutes after it ends, before the 9pm watershed.

The Betting and Gaming Council posted about the study on Twitter:

Whistle to whistle ban is effective

The impact of the advertising ban has basically eliminated sports betting advertising on television during the restricted period. The study found that during the entire span of live sports programming, the number of gambling advertisements viewed by young people fell by 70%.

The whistle to whistle ad ban contributed to a 1.7 billion view reduction of such ads during the first five months after the changes were implemented. At the same time, 109 million fewer gambling advertisements were seen across four comparative weekends because of the ban.

Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher commented on the advertising change, stating that it is encouraging to see that the ban has effectively eliminated the ability for children to view betting ads while they watch live televised sports. The Council is committed to improving the standards of the gaming industry and is making changes to see improvement in the short- and long-term.

The success of the whistle to whistle ban is a clear example of that commitment and I’m very pleased at how effective it has been during its first year in operation.”

Driving change

The Betting and Gaming Council was setup in 2019 and since then has worked hard to bolster the standards of the gaming industry. Along with the whistle to whistle ban, at least 20% of television and radio gambling ads contain safer gambling messaging.

There are cooling off periods now set for gaming machines and new procedures for checking ID and age verification. The organization is also encouraging deposit limits for players to protect them from problem gambling. Funding for research, education of problem gambling, and treatment have also seen boosts in funding.

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