UK to ban soccer players from promoting betting companies

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Gambling and betting companies in the United Kingdom will be soon banned from using advertising featuring top footballers or personalities expected to create a ‘strong’ appeal to under-18s,

Gambling operators require a Gambling Commission licence to transact with and advertise in the UK. The Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice require operators to comply with the Advertising Codes, written by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

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The new rules prohibiting gambling advertising were issued on April 5 by CAP and will come into effect after a six-month period of grace. Accordingly, the ASA will begin to consider complaints using the guidance from 1 October 2022. The timing is crucial given the fact Qatar 2022 world cup is scheduled from 21 November.

The wide-ranging new rules also include a ban on showing specific teams’ football kits and stadiums in ads, as well as using video game content and gameplay popular with under-18s.

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“No more top-flight footballers or other high-profile sportspeople promoting the latest odds,” said Shahriar Coupal, the director of the CAP was quoted by the UK media house Guardian.

“No more social media influencers, TV stars or other celebrities popular with children inviting us to bet on red. And, no more gambling ads featuring video game images or gameplay familiar to many children’s lives.”

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In November, Gambling With Lives-affiliated (GWL) campaign group The Big Step launched Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads (Football SAGA), to galvanize support to put a stop to gambling advertising in the sport.