Restrict Betting Advertising On Sports Channels

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My son is 13 years old and football mad like most boys of his age.

I watch with him when I can and I am dismayed at the number of online betting adverts he sits through as he watches a live match on Sky Sport or BT Sport.

The advertising is not restricted to the evening, but occurs in a seemingly unregulated manner throughout the day - as can be witnessed during live afternoon broadcasts.

There are a number of these adverts before the teams run out, another is squeezed in prior to kick off; they continue for two more ad breaks at Half Time (where punditry is minimised to facilitate advertising time) and then continue after the match.

This is a constant drip feed to an adolescent's mind and cannot be anything other than enticing or at least intriguing.

I am aware that in theory 13 year olds cannot place bets however, the extent to which these adverts occur surely normalises the activity in their minds and in doing so makes it appear to be an acceptable pass-time.

The potential detrimental social and personal impacts of gambling are well known, hence the legal age restriction. It must logically follow that under 18's are not overly exposed to the associated advertising.

Tobacco and alcohol companies have had their wings clipped, I believe the betting firms should be restricted also.

This restriction should at least be until after the 9pm watershed. In other words, with Half Time in a typical 7.45 KO match being between c. 8.30 and 8.45pm, an under 18 would only be exposed to a more limited number of adverts should they continue to watch after the final whistle.



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