Gambling companies are among the biggest advertisers on the radio during “race to school” hours when millions of children are in the car, research has found that has prompted warnings about their exposure to gambling. promotions of the national lottery, online casinos and sports betting.
The data shows the game came second in a list of industries that spend the most to appear on commercial radio between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to an analysis for the Guardian by the analyst firm of Nielsen market.
Analysts found that gambling accounted for 5% of all spending during school hours, with approximately 1,200 hours of ads showing during those times in the past 12 months.
The amount spent on gambling ads was only exceeded by government communications – including Covid-19 messages – and automotive supplies. Nielsen is not disclosing actual spending figures because it is commercially sensitive data.
Most of the ads are for the national lottery, but the ads that run during the school race also include spots for betting and online slots brands such as Gala Casino.
After being contacted by the Guardian, Entain, owner of Gala Casino, reportedly added a stipulation to its media purchase agreements to prevent broadcast during weekday school hours.
Government statistics suggest that millions of children are likely to be in the car during the period. There are 8.9 million schoolchildren in the country and the latest in-depth investigation by the Ministry of Transport found that 46% of children aged 5-10 and 23% of those aged 11-16 go to the school. drive to school.
Addiction experts and activists said the numbers underscore the need for continued government review of gambling regulations in order to take a strong stance on advertising.
Heather Wardle, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow, said: “Commercial gambling is rightly considered an activity for adults only, but the way it is advertised on the radio and in other media makes it very difficult to protect our children from exposure for this.
“Gambling Commission evidence shows that 7% of children exposed to gambling advertisements said seeing or hearing advertisements made them gamble when they had no intention of doing so . “
Labor MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs an all-party group examining the harms of gambling, called for reform of the rules for advertising “national shame”. “Until we completely revise their access to advertising platforms, we will continue to expose vulnerable children and adults to this relentless attack,” she said.
The government is due to release gambling regulatory reform proposals early next year.
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said: “BGC members follow the strict rules set by the Advertising Standards Authority. Indeed, since the creation of the BGC two years ago, we have put in place a number of measures to go even further than the requirements of the advertising codes developed by both the ASA and the Committees of Advertising. Practice.
“In addition, our members also ensure that 20% of their TV and radio commercials are safer gaming messages.”
A spokesperson for national lottery operator Camelot said he needed to advertise at all times of the day to reach as many people as possible. “We have always followed strict guidelines to ensure that our advertisements do not appeal to children, and this has contributed to the widespread recognition that the inherent risk of unhealthy gambling associated with domestic lottery games is extremely low,” a declared the spokesperson.