Anti-gambling lobbyists and gambling addiction organizations were very concerned that Brits would be bombarded with gambling ads during the popular Euro 2020 tournament which started on June 11 and ends on July 11. They put pressure on TV broadcasters and gambling operators to reduce the number of gambling ads over concerns of problem gambling.
Those pressure tactics have worked as UEFA Euro 2020 has witnessed a 47% reduction in betting advertisements during its television broadcast on the ITV network compared to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. ITV has reported a reduction from an average of about 6.9 betting advertisements per match during 2018 World Cup to around 3.7 such advertisements per match during Euro 2020.
Betting ads during football broadcasts have been controversial in Britain for a long time now. However, Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) dismisses these claims saying that the complaints made by the anti-gambling lobby linking gambling advertisements and the development of gambling addictions are unfounded and not backed by facts.
Dugher also cited the comparatively fewer number of betting advertisements during Euro 2020 to dismiss what he considers baseless alarmism and fears about people being “bombarded” with betting advertisements during a football match broadcast.
In 2019, the members of BGC agreed to a whistle to whistle ban which limited them from using any betting advertisement on TV, five minutes before the start of a football match and five minutes after the end of the match. It is evident from the Euro 2020 advertisement figures that this rule has led to a steep fall in the number of betting advertisements during a football match
Dugher also talked about the sincerity of BGC members in promoting safe gambling and said it was more important for the authorities to crackdown on unlicensed betting operators who were offering unsafe betting services that did not contribute to the economy or football.
England In Euro 2020 Finals
The campaign to ban gambling ads has continued throughout Euro 2020 especially with England doing so well. England has now advanced to the Euro 2020 finals and will face Italy for the championship.
ITV has been under pressure to remove betting advertisements during the semifinal and finals of Euro 2020 as they expect around 20 million Brits to be tuning in with a lot of them being children. However, ITV has decided to reduce the number of betting ads.