Premier League returns; BGC praises impact of whistle-to-whistle ban

Premier League

The Premier League returned to action for the beginning of the 2020/2021 season, following a short break after the extended 2019/2020 campaign concluded last month. And as a result of the whistle-to-whistle ban which came into force last year, gambling ads will not be shown on live TV prior to the 9pm watershed in the UK

Matches are still going to be played behind closed doors for at least the beginning of the season, meaning that fans will have to keep up with the action either on TV or through other means.

Since the whistle-to-whistle ban was introduced, statistics have revealed a significant drop in the number of gambling-related ads seen by children on TV. And now, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has praised its impact.

“Delighted by the success” 

According to Enders Analysis, children have seen 97% fewer gambling ads during advertising breaks on TV as a result of the whistle-to-whistle ban. Moreover, 109 million fewer gambling ads were viewed across four weekends.

In the first five months that the ban was in effect, there was a total reduction of 1.7 billion when it came to views for gambling ads on TV.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher had the following to say about the ban’s effectiveness.

“As a football fan, I can’t wait for the new season in England to start. But with matches still being played behind closed doors because of COVID-19, supporters will have no choice but to watch their favourites on TV.

“I’m therefore delighted by the success of the whistle to whistle ban in virtually eliminating the ability of young people to see betting adverts on TV during commercial breaks. The BGC was set up to improve standards in our industry, and this is a clear example of that commitment.”

Other restrictions coming into force soon

From the beginning of October, further measures will come into force to protect minors from seeing gambling ads. Operators advertising on social media will only be allowed to target those aged 25 and above, unless they can prove that their ads are only being targeted at audiences older than 18. Other restrictions, such as YouTube users needing to use age-verified accounts before they can see gambling ads, will also be included.

Dugher has also called on the government to help the organisation clamp down on illegal oprerators in the UK. In this respect, he said the following.

“We urge the Government to work with us to crack down on black market operators who have no interest in safer gambling or protecting their customers and do not work to the same responsible standards as BGC members.

“The forthcoming Gambling Review will also provide further opportunities to improve standards and we look forward to working with the Government on this.”