UEFA Euro 2012 opens the door to Online Gambling Advertisements in UK


Television advertising rules allow launching of new campaigns

According to the Daily Mail reports published over the weekend, major online gambling companies and TV networks are using the effective UK television rules and regulations to boost advertising during the ongoing Euro 2012 football championship held in Ukraine.

Fresh advertising campaigns have been launched by the key market players including Bet365, Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes based on the decision issued by the former UK Labour regime to allow advertising on TV before 9pm if linked to a major sports event. The same regulations led to reclassification of online bingo and casino games as 'teleshopping', the daily reports.

As per the report, the estimated profit of UK online gambling companies more than doubled since 2007 to reach the amount of GBP 2.2 billion this year.

"[British Prime Minister] David Cameron is under pressure to order the TV regulator Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority, which polices broadcasting codes, to clamp down on the adverts. The Prime Minister has already made clear that he is unhappy about using football to promote gambling,' the Mail notes.

"He recently told MPs: 'Anyone who enjoys watching a football match will see quite aggressive advertisements on the television, and I think companies have to ask themselves whether they are behaving responsibly."

However, mix of entertaining promo offers and celebrities makes online gambling commercials very interesting and popular. The key messages refer to the 'bet in play' channel offering versatile bets, such as a number of yellow cards or corners, in the course of the match either from mobile devices or PCs.

Furthermore, Daily reports that ITV has shown scores of adverts for bookmakers and online gambling websites during Euro 2012 - half of them at 5pm - charging up to GBP 200,000 for a 30-second slot around an England match.

"All advertising broadcast on ITV is fully compliant with the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice TV advertising codes. These codes contain rules for the advertising of gambling as well as detailed provisions for the protection of young people and the vulnerable." a spokesman told the newspaper, adding that the ITV network did not keep a tally of the hours of gambling advertising broadcast, as any increase resulted from the numbers of games being shown within UEFA Euro 2012.

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