New standards on gambling advertisements 'a lost opportunity'

By agency reporter
February 17, 2019

Following publication by the Committee of Advertising Practice of new standards protecting children from irresponsible gambling advertisements, The Bishop of St Albans, The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith, said: "While I welcome the proposals in this move, these new standards are, in fact, another lost opportunity in the fight against problem gambling. 


"With little consequences for companies flouting the rules and few teeth to enforce these new directives, the Committee of Advertising Practice needs to step-up their approach.

"With so many of the proposals relying on betting firms to self-regulate I sadly have little hope for major changes to the way gambling advertises. This endless barrage of adverts has normalised gambling and we now have 55,000 children who are problem gamblers and it is time for the gambling industry to take this issue seriously. 

"It is our moral duty to protect young people from gambling-related harm and I hope the Committee of Advertising Practice will support my General Synod motion demanding tighter regulation around gambling advertising."

The following Motion will be discussed at General Synod on Saturday 23 February:

Advertising and Gambling (GS 2125)

The Bishop of St Albans to move on behalf of the Ministry and Public Affairs Council:

That this Synod, noting the greatly increased levels of gambling advertising and research showing significant levels of gambling by children:

(a) call on Her Majesty’s Government to reduce the quantity and pervasiveness of gambling advertising and introduce a mandatory levy on gambling firms to fund independently commissioned research, education, and treatment programs;

(b) encourage churches to be an open place for people who have problems with gambling to seek support; and

(c) ask churches to support initiatives which educate children and young people about risks related to gambling.

* Read the General Synod background paper on Advertising and Gambling here

* Church of England https://www.churchofengland.org/

[Ekk/6]

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