Guardian media group bans gambling adverts on all its platforms

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The Guardian, UK based news and media group has announced a global ban on gambling advertising on all Guardian platforms arguing it is unethical to take money from services that can lead to “addiction and financial ruin”. The ban is effective immediately.

The advent of 24/7 betting apps on smartphones, marketed to the public through billions of pounds and dollars in advertising across all forms of media, has placed high stakes gambling machines in almost every pocket. This creates a greater risk of gambling addiction and financial ruin,” Anna Bateson, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, said.

The UK government recently proposed gambling reforms amid demands to amend the law to meet changed  requirements including penetration of mobile internet.

The announcement by Guardian noted devastating impact of the gambling industry in the UK and Australia (another nation where the UK media house has significant presence).

Gambling in recent times has penetrated to all corners of the World and advertising on media platforms has turned into a menace of sorts including in India. Indian government has issued multiple advisories directing print, television and digital media houses to refrain from promoting betting and gamblimg adverts.

Every media house in India has promoted gambling products in the past. Although the quantum of adverts reduced after government intervention through advisories, the betting brands occassionally feature in media adverts in India.

Guardian implementing a ban is seen as welcome move by anti-gambling activists from a global perspective.

The ban covers all forms of gambling advertising with exception to lottery, includes promotions for sports betting, online casinos and scratchcards. It will apply worldwide to all of the company’s online and print outlets, including the Guardian, Observer, and Guardian Weekly.

UK has a strict regulatory regime in place for online gambling platforms. In 2022, UK banned soccer players from promoting gambling advertisements.