The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), a critically-important entity in the United Kingdom gaming industry, intends to take concrete efforts to institute certain standards in television advertising. Advertisements promoting gambling businesses have created some recent controversies. Complaints arose regarding “loopholes” in the law. The loopholes created concerns about gambling industry corporations choosing to target vulnerable customers.
To address the complaints, the IGRG plans on crafting new rules. Once the rules go into effect, the gambling industry would be required to follow the newly-established rules.
Online Casinos and TV Ads Targeted
The specific gambling companies the IGRG intends to target would be online casinos holding UK licenses. The online gaming industry surely wants to reach the largest possible customer base in the United Kingdom. Billions of Euros can be earned from those customers who patronize the virtual casinos. As most realize, the casinos earn profits when customers lose money. Therein lies a great deal of the controversy.
Concerns Over the Customers
While gambling can be a fun activity for people choosing to wager their money now and then, others become more consistent with their money-making attempts. Unfortunately, the more you gamble, the greater the chances become of losing money. Sad to say, people frequently develop gambling addiction problems. In order to reduce the chances of people suffering from a gambling problem, responsible regulations are put in effect. The IGRG wishes to extend regulations related to television advertising because of the impact TV ads can have.
The Significant Change
The rules changes won't focus on anything punitive. TV ads won't be banned nor would the content of the advertising face a multitude of restrictions. Rather, the television ads must come with a clear disclaimer.
Per the new rules, a television advertisement must include references intended to promote the necessity of responsible gambling. The message could also include a reference to BeGambleAware.org. These messages cannot be casual “throwaway” ones. The disclaimers must be present throughout the length of the commercials. Viewers shouldn’t be able to miss them. The IGRG intends to move quickly with this new rule change. The disclaimers should start turning up on commercials in June.
How effective these disclaimers turn out to be won’t be revealed until after they run. Even if the disclaimers are only minimally effective, minimal is better than nothing at all.
The Huge Sums of Advertising Revenue
The sheer volume of money spent by the online casino industry on television advertising can be described as staggering. During a three-year period, gaming businesses spent more than £450 million on television advertising. As per the rules of basic advertising economics, the only likely reason the gaming industry spends such huge sums is because the industry gains a significant return on investment.
The Major Concern
Gambling advertisements on television already come with restrictions. Barring gambling advertisements on non-sports programming prior to 9 pm reflects one restriction. Regardless of the current and future restrictions, worries do exist about the impact of these ads on children. Namely, the ads could predispose young children to be drawn to gambling as they get older.