Research performed by media regulator Ofcom reveals a rise of almost 600% in the number of gambling advertisements shown on British television since 2007.
According to the research, in 2005 there were only 90,000 gambling advertisements shown on British television, a figure that rose to 234,000 by 2007. In September 2007, the Gambling Act 2005 came into force which allowed sports betting, online casinos and poker to be advertised on TV. Prior to the changes in legislation, only the National Lottery, bingo premises and advertisements for football pools were allowed.
In 2008, the first full year after the gambling market was liberalised, the total number of gambling ads rose to 537,000 and has risen every year since to its peak of almost 1.4million in 2012. Gambling adverts made up 4.1% of all TV advertisements in 2012 compared to only 0.5% in 2005.
Number of advertisements: Gambling by sub-category
Online casino & poker advertisements now make up 1.2% of all advertisements shown on British television, with the average adult seeing 121 such advertisements per year. This number would possibly be larger, but since 2008 almost all online casino & poker advertisements have aired after the 9:00p.m watershed. Still, according to the research, the average child aged between 4-15 years of age saw 34 online casino & poker television advertisements in 2012.
According to Ofcom, the total number of gambling advertisements on TV in 2012 topped the scales at 1,389,000 with a staggering 30.9 billion “impacts” – that is the number of times an advertisements was seen by viewers – in 2012. Online casino & poker accounted for 5.9bn of those impacts, again a number that would be substantially higher if not for the time the advertisements are aired.
The full Ofcom report, which can be found here, makes fascinating reading and shows that as a British television viewer you are bombarded with gambling advertisements throughout the day across all major channel types.
Have you noticed the sheer number of gambling advertisements in the UK? Do the numbers bother you? In 2012 there were over 368,000 Bingo advertisements shown between 06:00a.m and 04:59p.m yet online poker and casinos have to wait until 9p.m. Should we be forcing bingo advertisers to push their products at a later time? Let us know in the comments box.