The gambling companies have agreed to stop all TV and radio commercials for games and products during the virus lockdown. The Betting and Games Board said the company had voluntarily agreed to remove all advertisements for at least six weeks.
The move comes amid criticism that the industry exploits people trapped at home. TV and radio ad slots will be replaced by safer gambling messages, donated to charities or removed from broadcasts where contracts permit. “We are determined to do everything we can to protect customers who are potentially at risk during this lockdown period and visit Domino777 thereafter.”
“I hope now that other big gambling operators like the National Lottery are following in our footsteps,” said Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive Michael Dugher. BGC, which represents betting, online betting and gaming, bingo and casino shops, said the move would result in the removal of half of all product advertising on TV and radio.
He added that all operators will be “looking to implement these changes as soon as possible but by Thursday 7 May”. Concerns about gambling during confinement are increasing. Earlier this month, a cross-party group of more than 20 lawmakers signed a letter calling for restrictions, including a moratorium on advertising.
Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, has also warned that the upheaval and uncertainty facing people means that “now more than ever … a moral code is required of the gambling industry”. The move came after a separate announcement that the baliff’s visits would be banned until the lockdown ended.
The Goods Control Control and Enforcement Agent Certification (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulation 2020 was put in Parliament Friday evening and came into effect immediately. They prevent visits by court officials during the coronavirus restriction period. Other bailiffs’ actions, such as calling debtors, are not covered by the prohibition.
It has caused persistent concern about the impact bailiffs have had on vulnerable people during the outbreak. “The lockdown is destroying people’s incomes,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice. “In order to avoid board tax arrears that force people into uncontrollable debt, the government needs to consider next steps.
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